American Monologue investigates and challenges the notion of the American Dream, the idea of resiliency, and the concepts of civic failure and success. Many of us will remember how the American Dream and 1950s post- war optimism were characterized by television shows such as Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver, both epitomizing the superficial nature of what we tell ourselves embodies the American Dream. The juxtaposition of the installation combined with use of symbolism, serves to ignite conversation about memories, community, and separation. This installation exposes how past cultural decisions have shaped the present and how present decisions will influence the future of our communities.
Under the facade of the success and beauty of what was portrayed in the 1950’s, racism, sexism and homophobia were prominent beliefs. This installation serves as a contemplation about America’s struggles and victories. Sculptural use of colorful flowers growing beside a “For Sale By Owner” sign shines light on the determination to rise above negative circumstances and surmount improbable circumstances (be they natural disasters or man-made catastrophes). Will the people exposing reactionary ideals, that want to turn back the hands of time and return us to a society of a black and white bygone era make America great again? Will the unification and galvanization of progressives brought about as the result of the election steer us toward a society full of color? What is the American Dream? What does the American Dream look like today? Is there such a thing as the American Dream anymore? It is not my aim to necessarily answer these questions, but to introduce the conversation.
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