This piece began with some ongoing research on Roman Patrician families and the practice of keeping beeswax 'ancestor' masks in a special room in their home - this practice informed the members of the immediate family of who their ancestors were and what deeds and awards those ancestors had earned. During funerals, these masks were worn by family members in the funeral procession. These masks reinforced an understanding of the individual's and, by extension, the family's place in Roman society.
I chose to express the idea of 'place' through this lens. I made the decision to illustrate seven generations of family by casting faces - the humanness of a face is both immediate and intriguing to other humans. Anthropologically, humans are equipped to gather all sorts of data about each other just through the viewing of a face. After doing some quick math, I worked out that seven generations of people would add up to 127 faces (gen1: 64, gen2: 32, gen3: 16, gen4: 8, gen5: 4, gen6: 2, gen7: 1).
The project spec also required that the installation be site specific so I chose one of the two skylights in the Project Space as my site and measured it, which allowed me to work out that I would need the faces to be roughly life-size in order to be effective. The use of kraft paper towel extends the metaphor of family ties in which the intrinsic delicate quality of the paper towel represents the fragile nature of those ties. Lastly, I extended the web of generations through the single individual and out across the floor through two generations of 'children'.
Most people ignore the homeless, because they feel a sense of uncertainty about how they should treat them. This uncertainty makes people too uncomfortable to interact with people on the street, or they blame them - on some level - for their situation. This disapproval translates into a type of social avoidance that doesn't acknowledge the homeless person's humanity as a person with whom to connect or interact.
This piece is an examination of this uncertainty and discomfort. The crouched figure balances precariously on his feet; a direct reference to the literal, emotional, and cultural imbalance homeless people feel each day as they attempt to find a place to exist. Their occupation of space is a passive labor to claim territory for themselves and whatever possessions they may have. The over-sized placard, under which the figure squats, is a replica (including spelling error) of the sign posted at the entrance to the Marion Street footbridge. This covered bridge connects the upper level of the ferry terminal with Marion Street. People camp out under this covering for days and weeks at a time, some of them right under the notice, ignoring it's stricture and warning. By placing the figure under this placard, I am expressly referring to the potential dangers of illegally claiming territory from public space.