For my Occupy the Dollhouse exhibit at Artomatic, I decided to include some photos that I took from the actual Occupation sites just so visitors can see my inspiration for the series. This piece is a collage of photos I took of Occupy Baltimore. Here is my label description of this piece.
Location: McKeldin Plaza in the Inner Harbor
Current Status as of May 18, 2012: Last December the local authorities have evicted Occupy Baltimore, removed their tents, and banned tents and camping in McKeldin Plaza. While Occupy Baltimore will still hold General Assemblies and other meetings and events at McKeldin Plaza, the group has changed its focus from camping outside to working on demonstrations, teach-ins, and other actions that focuses on the issues affecting the 99% who live in Baltimore.
Now through June 23 you’ll be able to see and purchase print versions of these photos at Artomatic 2012 in Crystal City, Virginia. The Occupy the Dollhouse exhibit is located on the 10th floor in room 166.
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After two intense days of setting up, I finally finished with setting up my exhibition space at Artomatic in Crystal City, Virginia. Here are a few previews of what to expect if you visit my space in person.
My exhibit will be located on the 10th floor in a room that’s around the corner from the elevators. For this year’s Artomatic I’m focusing on my photography skills and using Adobe Photoshop. It’s based on a series of photos I’ve been uploading in this blog for the last few weeks known as Occupy the Dollhouse. Here is a description of Occupy the Dollhouse that I wrote as the introduction to this exhibition.
This series came about in the wake of two of the most difficult events of the past year. In February, 2011 I endured two falls in the same week. I was initially fine but then my ability to walk began to gradually deteriorate to the point where I was in constant pain. I found out that the two falls had knocked out of alignment the hip replacement I got in 2008. As a result I had to undergo a hip revision surgery in September, 2011 just so I can regain the ability to walk easily without pain.
Three months later my husband suddenly announced that he wanted out of the marriage and abruptly left me with no prior notice. This has left me totally devastated and, as of this writing, I’m still going through the drama of this separation.
In the meantime the Occupy movement had suddenly sprung up. Soon there were Occupy camps all over the world as people, who said they represented the 99% majority, began to challenge the 1% of the population who has enormous power and control over this nation’s resources. I began to visit the two Occupy sites in Washington, DC as well as the one in Baltimore and I felt inspired that people were openly challenging the current system in a non-violent manner.
Soon after the rise of the Occupy movement, there was a Facebook parody group called Occupy Lego Land, which showed the Lego Minifigs in revolt against the system. So I had an idea of doing my own photographic Occupy parody. Instead of using Legos, I turned to my doll collection to portray events based on what I saw at the Occupy sites in real life. I also wanted to show off my skills in photography and Adobe Photoshop.
In this exhibit I tried to reflect the DIY aesthetic of the Occupy movement. Instead of using frames and mattboards, I hung my pictures directly on the wall in the same way that various flyers at the Occupy sites were posted on the sides of tents or portable boards. On the upside, the prices of these prints are lower compared to other Artomatic exhibits.
Doing the series was therapeutic for me because it got mind mind off my current troubles. I tried to be as respectful to the Occupy movement as much as possible.
On that note, here is what my Occupy the Dollhouse exhibit will look like when Artomatic opens next Friday.
Here is a close-up of the small table that will include a guest book that visitors can sign along with copies of a promo flyer including my personal contact information in case anyone wants to buy any of my prints. I will also have two decorating touches on this table. Since all of the photographs on display in my exhibit features dolls, I thought it would be cool to have at least one doll on display in the exhibit. The only thing is that I was reluctant to use any of the dolls that are in my permanent collection because, given the expected large influx of visitors, I was afraid that someone will steal it. I found a perfect solution. I found these two dolls at a local Five Below that were on sale for $5 each. They are pretty cute but they were also perfect because if they ended up being stolen, it won’t take a major hit on me either emotionally or financially.
These dolls are known as Li’l Ones and they are from Ty, the same company that was responsible for Beanie Babies. Each Li’l Ones doll comes with her own tiny pet.
Here is the doll known as Hip Hannah. Her clothes are pretty cool looking. She also has blonde hair with pink and black stripes. She comes with a black cat, who seems to disappear into the black table top despite my effort to have it stand on a blue ribbon in order to make it stand out better.
Here is the doll known as Snoopy. She has that name because she wears a cute Snoopy t-shirt and she also comes with a tiny Snoopy.
My exhibit only takes up half of the room. The other half was assigned to someone else whom I’ve never met before. The artist works under the name Foxymoron and, coincidentally, the art happens to provide a nice complement to mine. Both exhibits feature photographs that mixes toys with a political message. We had never met before we set up our art so it was cool that it turned out that our works complimented each other. Here is what my neighbor’s space looked like as of the night of May 11.
The blue square tape indicates that there is one more photo that needs to be installed.
Artomatic will formally open to the public next Friday, May 18 at 6 p.m. For directions, a schedule of events, and other details, check out the Artomatic site.