On Being Visible: 1.19.21: Talk about being SEEN!
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
January 19, 2021
Tomorrow is a huge day in the United States, and I am holding my breath.
Regardless of your political views, 'Americans' are on edge. How will the inauguration go? Is security tight enough to keep people/the President Elect/the VP Elect/justices/everyone safe? Will the violence and outrage we saw on Jan 6 continue? With all the uproar of late, death threats, storming the capital, near catastrophe in the seat of our democracy? How safe would I feel being there? TALK ABOUT BEING SEEN! TALK ABOUT FEELING VULNERABLE!
I am an artist and I and my work are strongly influenced and effected by the current state-of-affairs in the world, the continual media digestion and regurgitation of it, and particularly by the injustices. So much happens that is NOT seen, or heard or reported, so many people without a voice. (You know, I never feel comfortable saying someone doesn’t have a voice. Who am I to say they have no voice? Is it more accurate to say they have a voice, and may be speaking out loud and clear, but it is the listening of it that is not happening?) And I, perhaps (I am hedging here, nervous about talking about race, identifying my privilege-ness: In/visible? If I acknowledge it, am I being …snobby? Real? Privileged?) because of my pale skin, my education, my income, my upbringing by activists and artists, I have an opportunity to be heard and seen, that maybe others do not. I feel a responsibility to use that voice.
And, so, I do. And all the while, I hide. I speak of fear, and I am afraid. I speak of injustice, and I feel shame for injustices done to me, and that I have done. I speak of others, but not of myself (until now I suppose). This journey of becoming visible is kicking my butt. How, I wonder, will it affect my artwork? I know for the moment, I wonder where to put my foot next.