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Write Home Soon
"Write Home Soon," is an ongoing project featuring participant created postcards, each depicting and describing a place—physical, mental, metaphoric—that an individual has lost access to. The collection derived from a series of workshops, street engagements, or by individuals mailing cards into the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC.
The Washington Project for the Arts, and curator Raquel de Anda originally selected the project to be exhibited for the AMA's 2012-13 exhibit "Ripple Effect." The exhibit showcased international work that aims to incorporate viewers as direct participants, addresses pressing social issue, and blurs the boundary between artistic practice and social engagement.
By incorporating personal histories from a myriad of social situations and inviting viewers to engage and tangibly connect to the memories of others, the installation strives to facilitate a challenging and humanistic meeting ground for those that are commonly kept apart in society.
Over 40 workshops have been held in prisons, shelters, museums, studios for disabled artists, senior citizen facilities, mental health clinics, schools, libraries, street corners, and a multitude of other locations. While the project is radically inclusive, participants become more than producers, or objects, but become the viewers and curators of their own work within the exhibit.
Due to the context of the AMA exhibit (the museum is situated within a couple blocks of the White House, National Mall, and other institutions of cultural and political power) the installation was designed to present alternatives for public participation in the design, production, and engagement of monuments. While each postcard provides a safe and autonomous space for personal histories, self-representation, and intimate reflection, the collection as a whole reifies the complex, fluid, and diverse nature of our communities.
Write Home Soon attempts to instigate a level, and more importantly, a quality of participation and engagement that challenges and showcases our collective alienation--from each other, from ideas and definitions of place, and from the 'art' that we are rarely able to interact with.
The postcard as a medium for creative exchange and reflection is being explored further by myself and Rebecca Hackeman in the upcoming public project; The Archive of Unmade Photographs which has been comissioned for the 2014 Society of Photographic Educators National Conference in Baltimore.
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