Ode to Fiddler | College Park MD | 1987

Fine Arts Gallery, University of Maryland

Family Violence

 A high up Government official in DC was found to be a wife and child beater. It was a big scandal, He was so proper and ‘upright’. No one found out for a long time because there was no noise, no screaming and crying or shouting. Family violence is often very quiet and secret.

I stood several 12 foot steel pipes upright, they were about 12 inches wide. Into the top part I cut openings. There was light within the columns and jutting out from the openings or ‘mouths’ were ½” thick glass wedges. There were sharp points at the ends, about 4-5feet long with the wider part of the triangle pushed into the ‘mouth’. I put glass shards on the ground.

My daughter Saarin and I made the sound track. I wanted the sound of someone being hit, a thud sound, and the sound the person that’s being hit makes when trying to be quite, an involuntary expulsion of forced breath. So my daughter, who loves baseball, took her bat and hit a pillow hard, as she hit the pillow I would make the sound of involuntary breath. The pillow broke and feathers started flying around. We would giggle and start laughing hard, it took a while to make the sound loop.

The piece was deemed dangerous, because it looked dangerous and the university cordoned it off. I wanted people to be able to walk among the columns and feel the fear and the dread.

The piece was deemed dangerous, because it looked dangerous and the university cordoned it off. I wanted people to be able to walk among the columns and feel the fear and the dread.