The research for this monumental series began in 2011, the actual work began in 2014, and it will be completed in 2018/2019. 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 and the 2017 "#metoo" campaign.
"The impetus for this work was a search for the common denominator of all the injustices 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. Seven 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 all need to sustain us. Parents across the country pay lip service to fighting playground bullies, while simultaneously tuned in to the uber-aggressive "Housewives of...."reality show, or the football game, where huge swaths of players are forgiven rapes, violence against animals, or against their own wives and children, as long as they WIN. We teach our kids to intimidate 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.
I am most interested in creating work that mixes up the language and imagery from disparate parts of our culture to point out the common denominators of entitlement and the objectification of “Other” that leads to aggressions and injustices in our culture. How does a trophy-hunting picture compare to a snuff film? How is the mounting of a hunting trophy different than the trophies collected by serial killers to relive “the thrill of the kill”? Why are playground bullies reviled, while corporate lawyer bullies are “just doing their job”? When teaching children to envy/emulate “Winners” and disassociate with “Losers”, how does this manifest itself in adulthood? What is the difference between feeling entitled to ravage our living earth through fracking vs. raping a person? How is sports culture related to rape culture?
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 (such as using Bell Hooks' concept of the "Oppositional Gaze" to call out and focus on rapists, as opposed to depicting rape as an heroic act (as men have done), or focusing on the victim, (as many female artists before me have done.)
Much of this work, as well as many new pieces, will be exhibited at York College in York, PA, from 1/24/18 - 3/24/18 (with catalog), and Coastal Carolina University in the Fall of 2018.