This work is the beginning of a monumental in-progress series. The research began in 2011, the actual work began in 2014, and it will be completed in 2017/2018. I saw/felt these forces building for years, and have been feverishly working on them: the work is beginning to feel hauntingly prescient since the U.S. election of 2016.
"The impetus for this work was a search for the common denominator of all the problems in the world that keep me awake at night. For years now, ubiquitous news of war, extinction of species, climate change, the growing imbalance of wealth and power, violence against women, and abuse of law enforcement power seems to be permeating and overwheming the consciousness of everyone I know. I felt certain that there was a common denominator to all of these crimes: against children, women, “minorities”, the poor, animals, and the earth. Five years of research into these seemingly disparate transgressions has resulted in a deep investigation of entitlement and the need to dominate.
Bullying permeates our culture and our institutions. Our country threatens any who would oppose U.S. interests. Our children grow up indoctrinated into capitalism, with fewer and fewer restraints on corporations who control workers and consumers, while destroying the planet we need to sustain us. Parents across the country pay lip service to fighting playground bullies while simultaneously tuned into the uber aggressive “Housewives of…..” reality TV show, or the football game, where huge swaths of players are forgiven rapes, and violence against animals, or their own wives and children, as long as they WIN. We teach our kids to dominate/intimidate/annihilate on the soccer field, preparing them for lives in the corporate sphere. In parts of this dystopia, open carry advocates don weapons in public, excited by the power of wielding the latent potential to mow down dozens of people in under a minute. Unsurprisingly, four months ago, this country elected the ultimate bully as leader of the free world.
The collective despair that has enveloped our country, and, I daresay, the world, is not just the result of one political party defeating another. It is that the oldest, most deeply ingrained childhood narrative, the one that allows all of us to sleep peacefully at night, the one that gives us the optimism to have babies, and to tell those babies (as well as ourselves) that “everything will be alright” has been utterly destroyed: The Bully has won.
I am interested in looking at the overlaps of entitlement and domination in our society, and in calling out the aggressors, the intimidators, and the often overlooked larger, systemic forces that encourage and reinforce this poison in our culture."
I have never had a clearer vision or stronger conviction for a body of work. I have done extensive research and gestated the concepts and formal aspects of the work for so long that I am certain much of what I am doing is completely unprecedented. Several people have told me, “you can’t do that!’, which tells me that I am really on to something.
The work will take many forms, several mini-series within a larger series. Some of the themes I am investigating include trophy hunting, VIP culture and “the 1%”, corporate destruction of the earth, rape culture and sexual entitlement, the fetishization of guns and their use for intimidation. Although the work addresses disparate aspects of domination, there will be formal and conceptual elements pulling the work together. Also, while some of the work is deadly serious, there will be moments of humor, irony, and satire.