To Those Enslaved

2021 | Interactive textile installation, threads, safety pins, canvas

I acknowledge that slavery still exists.

I agree that ignorance is not acceptable,

and that silence is only good when used for listening.

I recognize that I have the potential to contribute to these issues,

and resolve to be mindful in my habits and consumerism.

I will strive to live other than the way that is most convenient.

I will remember those whose circumstance is dire,

and fight for those who are voiceless.

And while I know true justice may be far off,

I can act justly now.

The handwritten statement on this cloth is a call-to-action, a petition. Viewers are invited to respond to this work by taking a pair of scissors, snipping a piece of fabric from the hem of excess cloth, writing their name and any other personal reflection about modern-day slavery or social justice, and attaching their signature/testament to one of the hundreds of strings surrounding the cloth work and its immediate area of the gallery.

The large cloth and hanging thread forms are informed by visual artist Ann Hamilton’s ideas about how cloth can be a metaphorical representation of woven togetherness— individual threads converging to reflect a shared humanity. The statement itself describes a life that honors one’s fellow human and promotes awareness and activism.

There is a deconstructive element to the work with the cutting away of the cloth, yet also a constructive element in the attaching of cloth to the hanging threads thereby expanding and developing the work itself. These two acts parallel the deconstructive and constructive efforts that must be made for any sort of sustainable reparation to occur regarding issues of human exploitation, forced labor, trafficking, etc.

Corrupt, violent, apathetic systems must be revisited, reformed and nurtured in such a way that they are transformed: extending their power, support, rescue and protection to even the most vulnerable member of the community. As history testifies, endeavoring a just system requires continuous evaluation, tearing down, and building up.

To Those Enslaved allows for reflection and direct acknowledgment of the socially engaged content of the overarching series, "To Those Enslaved." The issues surrounding modern-day slavery and social justice at large are relevant, current, and too important to live in ignorance of— To Those Enslaved creates a space where the viewer has an opportunity to reflect on what their personal conclusions and convictions are.