Assume the Position (Discretion as a Holy Virtue)

    This mixed media installation is staged in the dining room of the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Wistariahurst is the former homestead of prominent and wealthy silk tycoons, the Skinner family. 
     As families of a lower economic stature began to assume residence along the same street as the Skinners, a rather strange course of action was taken to protect their status and save face. Not wanting to share a street address with the likes of their chauffeur, it was decided that the front of the house would need to “become” the rear of the house and vice versa. All demarcating accoutrement was thus relocated. There was one more rub: now the servants quarters would be located in the (new) front of the house. To remedy this, a wall was constructed to conceal such blight.
    In this piece, it was my aim to give servitude an undeniable presence in the room. I use contemporary materials to highlight the pervasiveness of class issues throughout history. This house, now a museum, is located in a neighborhood where some buildings have boards nailed over windows and much of the population work grueling blue collar jobs (if they are able to find work at all). 

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