Collaboration with John Walker (www.johnwalker.run)
Broaden Your Sense of Normal examines the contemporary school shooting epidemic with a focus on coping with trauma through humor and challenging current infrastructures contributing to gun violence in school through a post-ironic lens. The exhibition interacts with questions of inactivity in the age of desensitization, mass anxiety and paranoia, and the socialization of complacency.
Part 1 is comprised of 2 main characters, Sh and SF. The scenario revolves around a fictional school shooting that embodies the "ignore it and hope nothing happens" approach as seen at the local and national levels in regard to gun violence in schools. The animation portrays 5 different perspectives: SF, Sh, the teacher, student #13, and the classroom security camera. The POV of the characters is from go pros placed on top of their heads, insinuating that there had been the implementation of surveillance as a “safety precaution” but even with the transparency of the impending situation, there is still no action to resolve. The animation also depicts SF being fully aware as Sh pulls out a gun in the classroom as the teacher and fellow classmates run out. SF, out of the advice from their administration to "be a buddy, not a bully", refuses to acknowledge that anything bad is happening and simply continues to smile even as Sh points the gun at their face. In regards to the sculptural components, SF is seen with a crying baby face behind their transparent smile, showing that they are actually terrified behind their content, calm exterior. The relationship between the projected animation and the sculptures expects the viewer to eventually overlook the IRL components and to focus on the moving image – paralleling the reality of how school shootings consume the media to the extent that the reality of the situation has become desensitized.
This work was exhibited at the Satellite Art Show in Miami, FL during Miami Art Basel 12/4 - 12/8, 2019