In the now
Since 2016 I have been making Glass Cathedrals that explicitly deal with politics and political activism. Each Glass Cathedral was created and exhibited separately (unlike in other collections) but I have brought them together here to be viewed in one place.
...we had been born into a skin color other than our own?
June 2020. Part of the artist's role is to stir the moral imagination. When we challenge what we think of as foundational ’truths' - like the gender, skin, time and space we are each born into - and rather understand them as random spins of a cosmic lottery wheel, there-in can lie a path to humility, compassion, reconciliation, justice.
Moral imagination serves as a counterpoint to "moral distancing" - the human tendency to casually discount the suffering of another due to to their difference to oneself - geographical, temporal, sexual, ethnic, physical. I find it a really useful concept, explaining, for example, how we can ignore an email asking us for $10 to feed a starving child, how we can live comfortably with systemic racism, and allow environmental destruction despite the cost to future generations.
Moral distancing has a practical value in a world of relentless suffering and limited resources - but it also becomes the foundation (whether conscious or sub-conscious) of inaction.
It seems that the murder of George Floyd has managed to tear the veil of moral distancing that I and so many of us have been guilty of in previously not supporting the cause of BLM. This gives me hope that some lasting change is possible.
@IamRachelRicketts: Fuck your Intentions
@askewone: When civilisations collapse all that remains is the art
A story (if you have scrolled this far down, you have earned it)
When I was a teenager in London, I saw a play exploring the culpability of 'good Germans' who did nothing to save Jews in the Holocaust. The lesson of the play was that to be born a regular person in Germany in WW2 was as much a trick of fate as being born a white Jewish cis-gender South African girl in 1972. I could have been born then, there, that.
The important question was therefore not what THEY did, it is what would I have done? Damn, it was a heavy realization... and one that I have been inadequate in acting upon.
Not The End.