What does Privilege mean to you?
I was thrilled to be apart of a timely and phenomenal show at Merseles Studios in Jersey City, NJ. The theme for the show was Privilege and I was one among 10 artists to make work that discusses what privilege is and what it means to each artist.
The opening was on March 1st, which was also apart of JC Fridays, and had a packed house for an enlightened artist talk where each artist spoke about the idea of privilege and how they used it in their work.
I first started to think about the idea of privilege when I read an eye opening article from 1971 by Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” I began to question the idea of what it means to be privileged or having privilege. In the case of art history, most of the great artists we know had the privilege of being male, white, educated, and usually wealthy. I finally saw the common criteria for the many of famous artists I knew about.
Using discarded objects in my work, I was lucky enough to salvage hundreds of 35mm color slides that were being trashed from an art department of a local university. As I was going through these boxes of 35mm slides, I began to think about them as objects and evaluate their meaning. I was able to find old 35mm slide projectors and started to project two different images on top each other, on the same spot on the wall. One projector was filled with slides of artwork made by only male artists and the other projector was filled with slides of artwork made by only female artists. By projecting, layering, and combining these two different sets of images, it creates a collaboration between the artworks and in a bold way rewrites history by including more female artists in the primarily male dominated art world. This new narrative establishes a new and meaningful place for women in the canon of art history.
Besides projecting these 35mm color slides in a video, I decided to hang them to showcase them as objects and to have the viewer be able to look at the slides up close and even encouraged engaging and touching the slides. By being hung, the 35mm slides were free to move and be unstable, further pushing the idea of changing history. I also hung the 35mm slides in front of the projected video to add another layer to the story, to include another voice in the dialogue in this ever changing narrative. By doing this, history continues to change, be altered, and rewritten.
There's still time to check out my video installation, Re-right. The closing reception for Privilege is on Friday, March 29th in Jersey City. Don't miss out on being apart of a very timely and important dialogue.