Saturday, July 17, 2010

REhumanization

First, this piece would not have been made without the inspiration of a brilliant artist named Annie Vought (sorry for the rip-off). Please check out her work at her site: www.annievought.com

I am also indebted to Drew Cameron, Drew Matott, and Chris Arendt at the Combat Paper Project: www.combatpaper.org

I created this piece using what I prefer to call Service Paper since I am not a combat veteran. I used one of my old military uniforms to make the paper, then I hand-cut it using an Xacto knife.

I spent 12 years wearing a military uniform and feel that most of that time was spent learning how to kill and hate other people for reasons I am still struggling to understand. Throughout this process of dehumanization of the "enemy," I think I also learned to dehumanize myself. This piece is an attempt to begin the process of returning, not only from the place in myself that said it was OK to view others as less than human, but from the place in myself that said I was OK with doing that. Having dehumanized myself and others, I am now trying to rehumanize myself and others.

With that in mind, I chose to use the simplest expression of love I could think of and repeat it, in my own handwriting, across 12 lines on a sheet of paper. Each line represents one year of military service. I want people who view the piece to see themselves reflected in the mirror, so they will know that I am speaking directly to them, and also to have an image of themselves in front of them as they read the words, "I love you" over and over and realize that they are worthy of their own love.

1 comment: