June 2020: A site-specific installation for Shelter in Place Gallery reflecting on the current states of emergency — the pandemic, systemic racism, economic inequality, and divisive leadership
Plans for this installation began in early May, 2020 with an urge to harness my gran(d) fury, grave frustration and fear as our leadership ignored science and spread misinformation in their poorly managed pandemic response. Covid-19 has magnified systemic inequalities as black and brown people are affected and dying at a disproportionately higher rate.
Sparked by the chrome insignia from a Plymouth Gran Fury — the iconic police cruiser of my childhood — and the force that the car’s moniker holds, I wanted to build on my sense of urgency. Red and blue gels on the windows cast softened emergency lights into the gallery….alluring, reverent and terrifying at once. Sirens are heard outside.
NYC activist artist collective, Gran Fury, first connected this police cruiser with their outrage as they called out ignorance in leadership and action during the AIDS crisis. Their role in awareness and education was profound. There is still no cure.
The grievous killing of George Floyd (and countless others) and current nationwide protests have radically shifted the relevance of this proposal. City streets emptied by social distancing are now filled with protestors, risking their health by necessity to speak out for justice.
Continued displays of force against peaceful protestors and presidential posturing demand police and government reform and require us to examine our own roles and responsibilities toward radically shifting institutional and interpersonal racism in the United States. Each of us must take action.
Images and video courtesy of Shelter in Place Gallery.