(Perfomance and Installation, ArtOmi 2017) Dollar Bills, Board, Poison Ivy, Staples.
The artist stapled dollar bills to a board and proceeded to cover the board and bills in poison ivy. The oil in the ivy soaks into the bills and remains active indefinitely, so as tempting as it is to grab the money, this currency cannot be put back into circulation. It will sit there, as the leaves fade and are long gone, untouchable.
This is a piece about the nature of global economic transactions, supply chains, and how difficult it is to maintain a coherent ethics when the provenance of most components is unclear to the consumer. I think it’s difficult in conditions of market fundamentalism for individuals to maintain ethical integrity. Ethics then become something commodified, a luxury accessory flashed by the rich who can afford to pay premiums for ethical traceable provenance.
I conceived of the piece whilst on a residency in upstate New York, where we were given a thorough induction on how to identify (and avoid) posion ivy. I got quite obsessed with it, seeing it insidiously everywhere, always imitating the benign foliage around it, but in triplicate, like a parasitical bureaucracy.
This was quite the process. I needed a hasmat suit and gloves and soapy water. It all had to be completed in a ‘one-er’. I collected the poison ivy, and made the piece immediately. All my implements needed to be washed thoroughly afterwards, and the suit and gloves sealed in bags and disposed of.