For those of you who weren't able to get out to see the sights at Reachfest this past month..
"Assume the Position (Discretion as a Holy Virtue)" was an installation presented in the dining room of Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts. I was particularly struck by a story I was told about the former inhabitants (the Skinner family; silk tycoons) feeling the necessity to relocate all of the accoutrement of the front entrance to the rear upon encroachment of the lower class into the neighborhood. Not wanting to share a street address with their chauffeur, back of the house would now be the front of the house. Since the servants quarters were typically located in the rear of the house, in lieu of further relocation projects, a wall was constructed to deal with this blight.
It occured to me that there was no way in hell these people would invite low income former trailer trash like myself to be a guest in their home. All of these walls and rules and dark corners felt to me like a challenge to bring that which was oppressed, slighted, or relegated to the periphery out into the light. My goal was to play up a tragicomedy of pervasive class issues using materials and imagery specifically related to servitude, especially in the capacity of housework and catering (thus the cocktail swords!- this is no longer a homestead, but rather a museum that hosts many fundraising events). I found it rather stimulating that almost all of the materials I gathered fit nicely into a garish, technicolor pallet- rubber gloves, sponges and "handi-wipes" don't come in taupe or eggplant.
Someone who's known me and seen my work for awhile had this reaction: "i'm sick of the gloves". yeah, okay- but, i'm sick of this problem. i'm sick of the effect poverty has on women in this world.
i'm sick of women being groped, beaten, raped... and not even getting a chance to clock out beforehand. I'm sick of sexy maids and nurses. I'm sick of CSI rape fantasy marathons. I'm sick of the revival of goddamn aprons and cupcakes from MILFS.
anyway, yes.. i feel like it is a good time for them to retire. they've been on parade looking for the right baseboards to creep around. ..............
|(swan: the other white meat)|
I should say this too:
This room was impressively difficult to photograph. So, I'm very thankful that Anna Rotty was willing to spend an afternoon with me figuring out light and listening to me babble. I'll be updating the website someday soon...ish.
Oh yeah and "These images appear courtesy of Wistariahurst Museum", etc.