actively imagine understanding
During this past few years, I have experienced significant grief over the challenges our country now faces. This work emerged amidst my angst over the torn fabric of our society. As I explore the form and colors of the original items, I am conscious of the history inherent in each piece; how these fabrics are imbued with the movements of the bodies and personalities that used them, and the identities that they imparted. Clothing impacts our sense of self and facilitates our being in the world. We discard parts of ourselves and try on new identities.
I collect cast-off clothing and repurpose it into new compositions. As I tear the cloth into workable strips, I continue the Jewish tradition of rending one’s clothing during mourning. The same way torn clothing signals that we’ve lost someone we love, my work references grief on a broader scale. As I work with these remnants of abundance, I remember the Jewish American history in the garment industry: it began as a means of achieving economic security, with pushcarts for buying and selling rags, but its success has evolved into a threat, creating a new type of insecurity.
Tikkun Olam is the Jewish practice of repairing the world;
reknitting and reconstructing torn fabric symbolizes this act of repair. In raising collective consciousness of the profound threats to our social fabric and inviting discourse around them, I aim to begin the healing process.