Among My Many Failures

in collaboration with Chele Isaac
projection of figure in leather chaps sawing plaster saddle in half over a life-size diorama of a Native American settlement; the saddle from the projection is inserted into the diorama

projection of figure in orange gingham suit scrubbing plaster dust

projection of cowboy onto orange scrim on life-size woodshed in diorama


rear projection of figure into window in life-sized cabin in diorama
projection of figure in orange gingham suit dragging plaster saddle in life-size diorama of a Native American settlement; the saddle from the projection is inserted into the diorama

plaster saddle in diorama

plaster saddle, 3 channel video installation
dimensions variable
2010
 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.
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