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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 monumental sculptures of former American Presidents, situated in a field in rural Virginia. The busts had belonged to a sculpture park which closed in 2010. A local builder and entrepreneur was hired to destroy the busts after the park’s closing. He decided instead to preserve them, moving them onto his own property and worksite. During their transport and over time, the sculptures 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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National Park

National Park, 2017
Collaboration with Tali Keren
Commissioned by the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York
Wood, vinyl, ambient sound, and audio narrative
8 x 18 x 4 feet
National Park is a photographic and audio installation commissioned by the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York. Visitors are invited to treat the work as a kind of stage where one can stand next to an image of past presidents and examine oneself in relation to these decaying yet steadfast symbolic monuments. The large curved structure references the shape of Ancient Greek amphitheaters, alluding to the relationship between theater and politics.

National Park emits a continuous audio loop of ambient sounds recorded in the field in Virginia where the presidential statues reside. The work creates a site of slippage where the sounds of birds, planes, wind, and intermittent gunshots recorded in Virginia become enmeshed within the soundscape of the park.

The work is also accompanied by an audio narrative which is accessible to viewers by listening at www.socratesnationalpark.com. The narrative consists of our conversations with Howard Hankins, the entrepreneur and builder who was moved by his national pride to save the statues from destruction and to relocate them onto his property.
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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.
Artist Contract, 2017
Dimensions and materials vary