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Save the Presidents

Save the Presidents, 2017
Collaboration with Tali Keren
4K video
13 minutes (clip, full video available upon request)
Save the Presidents is a film that focuses on the deterioration of 43 giant stone busts of former American Presidents, situated in a field in rural Virginia. The busts had belonged to a sculpture park which closed in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. A local farmer and entrepreneur was hired to destroy the busts after the park’s closing. He decided instead to preserve them, moving the sculptures onto his own property and worksite. During their transport and over time, the busts have eroded.


The film details the decaying materiality of the figures, such as the cracks in their faces and the discoloration of their white stone. Structured over the course of a day, the work begins with the presidents sitting drenched in morning sunlight as manual laborers arrive to the field for work. As the light wanes and the laborers leave, the presidents are left alone to watch the sunset fade to black. The film explores the promise and instability of political representation and mythology, while raising questions about depictions of democracy, whiteness, and gender.
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windows on the world

windows on the world, 2016
HD video documentation of photography and audio installation
6 minutes (clip, full video available upon request)
Installed at the Fisher Landau Center for Art in Long Island City, New York
windows on the world is a photography and audio installation that looks at miniature replicas of culturally-significant sites as allegorical. The project considers the ways historical narratives are reduced, recreated, and passed down by focusing on a theme park in Shenzhen, China, with reproductions of the world’s wonders and global monuments; Mini Israel, a miniature park outside of Jerusalem portraying a singular view of the contested landscape; and on appropriated cultural sites scattered around the U.S., such as Mount Rushmore of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The heterotopic photographs reveal sites of war, natural splendor, and cultural significance made absorbable, tame, and repeatable. The photographs aim to unveil the violence concealed by kitsch and to look at the miniature as a metaphor for nationalist pedagogy and colonial ideology.

Each image is paired with a soundtrack which is available to the viewer through an audio guide. The soundtracks create entry points into the photographs by asking viewers to focus on specific details or by providing a ‘historical’ or philosophical context in which to situate the work. As one listens, the tone, content, and accent of the narrator continually shift. The overarching narrative becomes abstracted, nonlinear, and often contradictory. The viewer is encouraged to synthesize their own narrative, and to question the mastery of the audio guide and the mechanisms by which institutional knowledge is constructed and conveyed.
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Contract

My work is accompanied by a contract which mandates that any collector must sell the artwork after ten years. All accrued value must be reinvested in new work by an emerging female artist. Through this gesture I am infusing my feminist beliefs into the legal fabric and trajectory of my projects. My work serves to challenge economic and gendered hierarchies that permeate the art market rather than solely functioning as a commodity.

I ask that my contract be exhibited with the work in a format or medium that is mutually agreed upon by myself and the collector. It may be shown as a two or three dimensional object, performed live, or distributed in any manner that the collector and I choose together. In this way, the contract enables a collaborative relationship between artist and patron, creatively and politically.