On the morning of Sept. 11th, I woke up to the same news and images that the world was watching of the twin towers in my birthcity being bombed. I immediately turned on every audio and video recording machine I owned.
I had been working on audio collages for a show my partners and I were to present the following week at the San Jose Works Gallery called HOSTIS: The Nature of Enemy. Now we, as a country, were witnessing a new form of “enemy” on our very own shores.
We had prepared the gallery as a multi media look at some of horrors associated with enemy, but we had no idea how potent the experience would be for our viewers, especially so near to the recent tragedy in NYC. The ramp we had built in the middle of the space so closely resembled the debris on those downtown streets that many people left the gallery crying.
The churning clothes in the cage below the ramp reminded those old enough to remember visions of the Holocaust and other genocides around the world, and was equally effective at creating a visceral experience of that history we did not want our audience to forget.
However, the lesson was brought all too quickly back to the forefront of our minds that morning as we began sorting out the current state of enemy in our lives and country.
Such is the way of synchronicity in art.
Audio clips from Hostis: The Nature of Enemy
HOSTIS- The Other Side of Me
HOSTIS- The 5 Techniques