Installation (1) (2015)
Installation (2) (2015)
Invisible Bag (2015)
I drag along an invisible bag.
In it, I place my sins.
I don’t feel like “the salt of the earth”.
I’m not pure anymore.
“Isn’t it enough that youhave brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us!”
Material Studies: Oil (2014)
(Not in order of verses, not all have been represented physically.)
1. "Deliverer", 1 Samuel 10:1, "Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?"
2. "Poor Pleasures", Proverbs 21:17, "Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich."
3. "For the Tabernacle", Exodus 27:20, "Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning."
4. "Good Offering", Leviticus 2:5, "If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast."
5. "Sacred Anointing Oil", Exodus 30:23-25, "Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil."
6. "Blessed", Job 29:6, "when my path was drenched with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil."
We do what we can with the cards we’ve been dealt in life. We are human, unable to see into the future. Our exhibition, titled “Existence”, will address these presumptions through an interactive card game where participants are given the chance to take a fictional look forward and make brief sense of the present. Players are instructed to progress through the eight stages of life, from birth through old age and death, drawing one card in each stage. They may learn that they have lost their job or are particularly fond of certain foods. If the participant draws a “death” card, their fictional existence is complete.
The purpose of “Existence” is to create stories and allow the players intimacy with their randomly generated timeline. Ideally, the game will strike emotional chords, provoke absurdity, and remind us what life truly consists of. Once played, it is out of the participant’s hands, and the cards -these new fragments of life- are displayed nakedly on the final wall.
Empty Words (2014)
I need to indulge my hunger for honest, palpable communication. Can I sweep aside my own dusty apologies and noncommittal thank yous? In this artistic process of personal investigation, I have produced a stage set charged with targeting the hollowness of everyday language. The visitors to my exhibition are invited to handle and scrutinize pieces of fabric, embroidered with what I consider to be “empty words”. They become “cliche inspectors”, taking a seat and sipping on Earl Grey tea, chosen for my familiarity with it. They may also take a second as they rise to water the Iris in its pot —a plant known for surviving all conditions of drought or plenty- and connect to the abounding and unnecessary excess in the room. The distraction is palpable. Each portion of this installation represents my positive and negative perception at the same time. It is a bewildered journal entry and a proposal to God, “Please change the way of my fluttering hands, the physical slap of language as it is flung at the face of another. Help me to declare caution, but first let me know what I am advising of.”
The installation is modeled after my observation of various households I know, places where decades of conversations accumulate night after day after morning. The decor and design of these homes, belonging to older generations in particular, is painted in pastel colors and accommodates comfortable chairs and couches, lacy curtains, and embroidered pillows that recreate in me the emotions I hope to divulge to others. The rooms are replete with what is commonly known as “women’s work”. The women that form and inhabit these spaces are the encouragement for me to pour out more informed, abundant, and intentional care. Hour after hour the sewer labors over the manifestation of a collection. The pressure point in her back crimps and the furrow grows deeper in her brow. She is, as instinct dictates, laboring for the love of a thing. She endeavors to pluck from the garden of pleasant leftovers at the back of her wardrobe heart.
As the empty words impressed upon the fabric are examined, I envision a much more critical “judgment for every empty word” each participant has spoken (Matthew 12:36). The Bible talks about accountability for worthless words, and I have recently been prompted to follow this seemingly severe instruction; the verse is speaking of standing before God at the end of one’s life and giving account for each hollow phrase. “Don’t worry” and “Be safe”, even “I love you” carry so much supposed gravity and implied concern, but I still feel the need to use them to placate fragile feelings and cushion relationships. These are the words from the far grey corner of my intentions, but the frequency of their use shows how often I draw from that ugly place. There are lackluster words that never had any meaning and are used as fillers; “sure” and “I guess” epitomize my habit for non reflective interaction.
These words compose a corporeal jumble upon the table. With them, I am establishing an atmosphere, pointing at conversations, and asking participants to consider in a visual and theatrical way, all in response to my own charge of Biblical culpability. The installation, like words and phrases, is multi-layered though quietly dynamic, speaking eagerly for its maker. It ultimately exposes my own timidity and use of social niceties and seeks to remind viewers of the layers of true significance behind their words.
(Watch video without sound)
Bread dough is spread upon the body of one, while the other soaks in a bath of wine. The food is collected, bread is baked, and it is all served as a spread for participants as the video plays on the wall.
Bread, Pan (2014)
Metal pan made to the specifications of the oven, filled with bread dough. Two tries, first smaller, successful in the oven. Second more dough, not successful in the oven, but became an interactive piece once presented to participants.
Torched Bread (2014)
Bread dough spread thin on a metal sheet, torched until cooked.
From the mouth of a prostitute: “I heard that stars can lead a person to safety if you know how to read them. Like, if you’re out in the desert lost or something. You can’t usually ever see them in Seattle because it’s so cloudy, but walking around one night I saw a few really far away and fading.”
SOAP zones have existed in Seattle since 1992, when a judge implemented them along Highway 99 from Northern King County through much of Snohomish County. These Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution require that those awaiting trial or just released from jail on any prostitution charge (buying, soliciting, or pimping) not enter these high-prostitution areas of the city, or else be immediately arrested and tried.
“Apparently looking up at the sky you see the stars months in the past- they could be long dead. It’s hard to use them as a way to connect me to the larger universe when they are actually so long gone.”
“Stars” are placed in the center of two city SOAP zones in an effort to create a beacon for those involved in prostitution.
More information on prostitution and sex trafficking:
"Plunge Carefully Don't Ignore"
Words tell us to do one thing, but the curiosity of the mind often invites a different action. Conflicting visual invitations lead to a tactile sensory experience that is modified by the delivery of the hands to the material. The material itself is edible, but inconclusive, as the participant gets no hint as to whether the material really is safe to eat or even to touch. The words, “Plunge carefully don’t ignore”, form a sort of poem that references my approach to caution. Jump in, but watch yourself. Pay attention to your surroundings and choose your actions wisely, but with abandon.
The body is made of maneuverable flesh, and the mind is made of alterable emotions. When dealing with others, we must make conscious choices on how to approach inevitable manipulation. We may come away with a piece of someone, as someone may come away with a piece of the box’s hidden material. We are given so many choices that, suddenly, none of it is in our control anymore.
Pleading Passive (2013)
Watching someone read my heart is easier than speaking it. I want to apologize genuinely for things I have done, perpetuated, and witnessed. Is an apology really necessary? Am I really sorry? Is God sorry?
An Interaction (2012)
Here lies fascination with the ephemeral, interaction, the color white, and delicacy. The paper plant cut-outs were placed outdoors overnight within a four block radius, then collected the next morning as possible.