My Enemy Project
The core of this “traveling medicine road show” consists of painted silhouettes, five-feet tall, kneeling and handcuffed, apparently awaiting execution. Alongside them stand figures suggesting monks aflame, recalling the protesters who self-immolated in Saigon and Tibet. The backdrop will be a series of five-foot-by-six-foot metal plates bearing words in many languages such as: Father, Lover, Sister, Brother, Mother, Friend, Daughter, Son. Visitors at each site will be encouraged to paint images of their own adversaries on figures, adding their voices and outcries.
My Enemy, born on a cross-country road trip, was set up in places where the label of enemy has led to objectification and violence. Proposed sites included Crescent City, California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, denied by the institution; Laramie Wyoming, near the site of Matthew Shepard’s murder; Topeka, Kansas, home to the famously intolerant Westboro Baptist Church; the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, site of the Wounded Knee Massacre; and New York City’s Park51 site, sometimes called “The Ground Zero Mosque”.