Necessary Fictions Exhibition
A multimedia installation exploring American "state-created realities": What are the stories we are told, the games we play, to manage unsettling truths? How are fictions deployed and embraced, and to what end? What happens to a society that cannot discern fantasy from reality?
Photographs and sound document desert villages and their inhabitants in the fictional country of "Atropia." Costumed Afghan and Iraqi civilians, many of whom have fled war, recreate war in the service of the U.S. military. Real soldiers are dressed by Hollywood makeup artists in “moulage”—fake wounds—during immersive realistic pre-deployment training scenarios.
My book layers photographs with other materials to ask larger questions about the blurring of fact and fiction in American life. Click to the next page to see sample images.
Short films act as case studies exploring what happens to a militarized culture that can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality:
- Pineland/Hollywood is a 10-minute experimental piece about a traffic stop in which discerning fact from fiction becomes the difference between life and death.
- Jade Helm is a 15-minute found-footage documentary about what happened when entire Texan communities mistook wargames for an actual invasion by the U.S. military.
Production supported in part by a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, a Leica Women Foto Project Award, a
Speranza Foundation Lincoln City Fellowship, the Harpo Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and a Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellowship.
Shortlisted for the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant.
Fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).