HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
I am a homemaker. Using scent and imagination to conjure memories and associations, “Home Is Where the Heart Is” invites two strangers to share a “home,” while exploring together the boundaries of the Norwegian national “home.” Created and staged as part of “Hardbakka Ruins: The Caring Economy” in Bergen, Norway.
(April 1, 2017, 8:15 A.M. to 12:45 P.M.)
I am a domestic servant. The title of this piece refers to the average amount of hours women worldwide spend performing unpaid domestic labor per day. On the former grounds of the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, I swept up a pile of dirt on a rug, gathered it in a dustpan, put it back into a bucket, and then threw it out again onto the rug. Then I started all over. And continued the housecleaning ritual for 4.5 hours, making public the labor that is normally performed in private.
NOT ONE OF THEM IS MINE
I am a collector. I collect lost buttons, parted from their hapless owners and abandoned in the gutters, sidewalks, cracks and crevices of cities around the world: New York, Beijing, Venice, Berlin, Rome, Los Angeles, Brussels, Bologna, Florence, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Bergen, Munich, Bayreuth, Stuttgart. To restore its dignity, its individuality, and pride of place, I mount each of the over 800 buttons, on its own, 2 x 2, canvas. But in joining the collection, the button is once again lost in a sea of similarly lost buttons.
I am a tourist. Drawn to novelty. Habituated to documentation. And addicted to movement for movement’s sake. For this piece, I walked the 32-mile perimeter of Manhattan, with a camera focused on the tops of my feet, capturing and documenting the monotonous rhythm of “the Tourist’s” ceaseless quest to conquer the world.
I am a professional. I am an American. A true individual, I am as disciplined at work, as I am at leisure. In this piece, I performed an Olympic-distance triathlon, alone, in the enclosed space of a gym: in a 50-meter pool, on a stationary bike, and on a treadmill. Documented with selfies, I created my own shirt and awarded myself a medal, and posted it on Facebook.
I am a traveler. Not a member of the tourist hordes. To capture the tension between “the traveler’s” desire for individuality and simultaneous dependence on technology created for the tourist masses, I created uniforms for an army of dancing leisure travelers, a chorus line of pleasure seekers. Though seemingly similar, no two leotards are alike. I added hand-stitched appliqués of the Boeing 747, based on my own renderings of the “Tourist Jet,” to the mass-manufactured leotards made by anonymous factory workers in China.
THE NEW AUSTERITY
I am superfluous. This project began in the aftermath of the Great Recession and consequent embrace of a new model of labor, one that requires perpetual self-reinvention and flexibility. For it, I take objects either found or acquired second hand and repurpose them, making them useful, temporarily. Empty salsa jars become coffee-to-go mugs become pencil holders become bed pans; sheets and tablecloths become sundresses become lunch bags become dish rags become menstrual pads, and so on until the objects have lost all utility.
THE SHAKERS: DECODING AN IDENTITY
MacLachlan Museum of Woodworking
(May – August 31st, 2016)
I am a curator. Sort of. Working as an assistant (intern) to the curator at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, I proposed the theme for this exhibition, conducted research for it, and wrote the wall text.