For the first time I showed more than one of my walk-in panoramas under the title, “American Trilogy.” It was curated by Larry Walczak. The show was held on the 22nd floor of #4 Times Square during Armory Art Week.
“American Trilogy: Ferguson” places viewers on the spot where Michael Brown was killed by police. I remembered the rioters, tear gas, military assault vehicles and rooftop snipers from the nightly news, but when I was there it was a quiet neighborhood, and on the line where he fell was a makeshift memorial of hundreds of stuffed animals, flowers and notes. The panorama was part of a Black Lives Matter event in Times Square in 2015 as well as installed in a Brooklyn public high school for Black History Month.
“American Trilogy: Arlington” places viewers in front of Muslim soldier Humanyun Saqib Khan’s headstone. His Gold Star parents spot at the Democratic National Convention and were mocked by then-candidate Donald Trump. On Khan’s headstone is the Muslim Star and Crescent and surrounding headstones have Jewish, Christian, Mormon and Buddhist symbols. The panorama was originally installed in Erie Pennsylvania, a red part of a swing state, the week before the Presidential election.
“American Trilogy: Washington” places viewers in front of the White House during the Women’s March on Washington, where they are surrounded by protest signs and a sea of pink pussy hats. It debuted at Spring/Break.
Happily, the exhibit received a lot of press. My favorite quotes were:
“He really seems to be on to something here–standing there looking out at the makeshift memorial for Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a white police officer, was really moving.” Nicole Disser, Bedford & Bowery
“We are living in unprecedented times. Sometimes, it helps to travel outside frames that are most familiar to us, the narratives we are spoonfed. Step into the panoramas of ‘American Trilogy’ and you just might walk out with a different perspective about a person, place, or cause you thought you knew all about.” Daniel Kessel, Bushwick Daily
“They are technical tours de force, but more importantly they are eloquent reminders of the obstacles facing contemporary America.” Robert Ayers, Ocula