For the collaborative work Among My Many Failures, I constructed elaborate sculptural props including a woven leather pair of chaps and a plaster simulacra of a saddle. Footage of a cowboy figure using those props in the Native American dioramas of a partially abandoned natural history museum was re- projected into nearby exhibit space. A silhouetted settler engaged in domestic chores in a video by collaborator Chele Isaac was rear-projected in conversation with these props and videos; their redistribution within the site created a meta-text that played off the historical and spatial context of the museum. Viewers pieced together a counter- narrative to the story originally told by the dioramas; by problematizing these depictions of a contested period of American history, this work appropriated some of the tropes of heroic narratives, and engaged the viewer in unraveling an otherwise easily digestible site for “truth” as defined through the authority of a museum exhibit.
plaster saddle, 3 channel video installation