I am a conceptual artist whose installations, video and works on paper focus on issues of social justice and/ or the environment.
The source material for all my work, collectively titled SILENT VOICES is specific: news stories found in the New York Times. However, the installation sitings and presentation are more reductive, opening the works to individual memories of current narratives: the seemingly endless repetition of similar disasters worldwide.
The images and materials, are purposely selected to have an initial surface attraction which, upon closer examination, reveal more difficult content. A collage aesthetic informs my presentation and my practice and this physical as well as referential layering expands the potential readings of the works.
Over the past two decades I have created a ”library” of techniques and images that I physically or conceptually repurpose in new works providing both visual and referential continuity. In many instances they can be read as attributes alluding to specific details of the issue or as evidence. This is particularly evident in Perilous Journeys which includes a monoprint series that expands on the references found in the installations of the same title.
Often, there is an intentional opposition between the reality of the images and the perception, which I use to reinforce the political contradictions inherent in the issues.
Many of my works are created in challenging and remote outdoor locations demanding photographic documentation before they are destroyed or damaged by natural forces (ocean, wind, rain, snow). The precarious and transient nature of the installations parallels in some measure the sites; geographic or physical of the original narratives. This is most evident in the Parallel Migrations series; Field Fire , No Olvidado and Perilous Journeys all of which began outdoors but now include indoor variations. Promises, Promises is even more surreal in the outdoor version.
The addition of light and sound components heightens the visual drama and emotional intensity of the works while encouraging the viewer to follow pathways through or into the installations.
This more interactive and immersive experience becomes a platform for conversations and social engagement. The latter has been an increasingly important component of my work over the past five years. By encouraging individuals and organizations to become active participants in thecreation and installation, their awareness of the issues intensifies. Presentations at community centers, churches and schools in addition to more conventional art venues like museums and universities also brings in a new and wider audience