I believe that language and clothing should not be limited to the book or body, but can be brought into the gallery space as an embodied metaphor for individual choice. My recent sculptural work juxtaposes historically banned literature with items of clothing: corsets, life jackets, and underwear. The books that I “unbind” have all been accepted as classic literature in contemporary libraries. For me this is important, because I see that tastes in literature are as transient as this season’s fashion trends.
My work exposes censorship and explores intellectual freedom, children’s literacy and women’s educational rights. In my piece The Persepolis Laundry, I feature Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, which was banned from the Chicago Public Schools in March 2013. The process for this piece began with a ceremonial dismemberment of the entire book. Then I examined the pages for their literary potency and reconstructed the book into eight pieces of underwear. The panties were coated in beeswax and aired out on a clothesline. The piece raises awareness to the limitations that educated individuals encounter.
My art is informed by the work of Ann Hamilton, Anselm Kiefer, Rachel Whiteread, and Kara Walker as well as the writings of Jimmy Santiago Baca, Azar Nafisi, and Malala Yousafzai.