Our country has a history of polarization. Our current culture finds the technology of communication driving us further and further into our differences. Information moves at a pace that requires us to make quick and simplified decisions about the ideas our media presents to us. We collapse human complexity into “heroes” or “villains” in an effort to comprehend the vast amounts of information we consume.
Each of the characters represented here are human beings. They have been chosen for their humanity and the ways that we might be uncomfortable with that humanity. They are represented as Echo Enigma prints which are literally mirrors, allowing you to see yourself as you view the subject and consider the complexity each of us carries.
That complexity becomes the underlying fabric of the shows centerpiece. The exhibit’s focal point is a model for a large-scale artwork entitled United Divider, a 15 feet tall by 20 feet long sculpture of curved and polished stainless steel. From a distance the piece resembles an American flag, with the stars and stripes etched into its surface. On closer examination, the etched design is comprised of names. These names represent complex Americans in history. Individuals who are viewed by some as heroes and others as villains. The monumental scale of the piece acts as a wall, separating those that would stand on either side of it. The mirrored surface reminds us that it is our preconceptions that decide how these names are categorized and that “America” is defined by each and every viewer.
The Echo Enigma process involves depositing silver onto sheets of glass and then printing images onto the silver.