Edward Tick writes that America’s veterans are denied connection to their communities and the basic rituals that are needed for reintegration into society following military service. This ritual requires sharing the burdens of the veteran with their community through story. Art can serve as this much-need ritual lacking in our modern military. Art is a means for storytelling. Veterans not only need other veterans, they also need their communities. This exhibit bridges the gap between civilian and military communities in order to foster compassion and understanding.
The artwork of About Face is installed within a constructed setting of a home. The artwork was created using photography and papermaking processes. The handmade rag paper is created from military uniforms, known in the veteran-artist community as "Combat Paper”, combined with baby clothes. About Face explores the complexities and contradictions of family and identity in post 9/11 daily military life.
This exhibit is an awakening to the fact that war lingers and haunts the community upon which the veteran returns, even when that society does not to notice these phantoms. The exhibit offers a space for open communication and welcomes all who are willing to bear witness. This work serves as a voice for those who too often remain silent.
Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies (LRVS)