"COVID"

When the virus that was to be named and called COVID began to emerge in the US, very little was understood about it, but when people around the world began to die in the care of sophisticated medical facilities leadership across the planet began to get extremely concerned over how to combat what was happening before their eyes. People were dying in large numbers and there was no remedy. In the US, President Trump's team agreed on a strategy that was intended to calm the public and give them assurances that everything was under control and that the virus, like all virus's, would pass in short order. He created a photo opportunity during a panel conference at the White House were he motioned to the cameras while saying, "it will magically disappear". Since Seattle Washington was the site of the first deaths due to the virus at a senior center, my community was much more aware of the serious nature the virus presented. When the President made his television statement, I was confused by his understanding of the problem. What I heard was that there was not cause to worry because the virus was similar to the flu and it would come and go quickly. No mention was made of those who had died or were fighting for their lives in hospitals around the nation while he made his comment. which he continued to make over the next days while the "flu like virus" was beginning to be redefined as a pandemic.

During the weeks after the "magically disappear comments, I realized that there was a disconnect the Trump administration had with what was happening both around the world and in our nation regarding the expanding contagion and increase of deaths related to COVID. It began to look like the administration in power was telling the public that they had this magical first aid kit that would solve anything. That is were the idea of this piece developed. As part of my "things/form" collection were some old rusted tin cans uncovered from rooting around old abandon homesteads near my Chelan property. I was attracted to them because of the story they were telling about their existence. They had been opened and the contents consumed by unconventional means. One can looked like it had been stabbed by a hunting knife in order to have the lid pieces pried open. Another looked like a pocked knife had cut around the edges of the lid to open it. A small can looked like a nail had been driven through the lid so as to poor out the contents. All of the cans seemed to have been violently opened in order to access their contents. It felt like these objects were telling a story about the past and about what was then. It seemed like a perfect representation for how the Trump camp was treating a threat that was literally killing humans around the world. Their mindset of reliance on what has always been there and worked had become deadly. 

While trying to workout how to transform the cans into a visual idea, I remembered the old fashion first aid kit encountered in my youth of the 50's. This "kit" could be found in schools, factories, and public places. I remembered it as a wood cabinet  hung on wall of the elementary school nurse's office I attended. Opening the double door closet would expose shelves of first aid supplies intended to address any playground necessity which I had opportunity to utilize at times. On the front of the cabinet doors were red crosses. I used that idea to frame the tin cans as a metaphor for how the Trump administration, on the outside presented a façade that radiated solution while upon opening the cabinet would reveal old, used up, and completely irrelevant resources. As of this editing over 700,000 American lives have been lost to the virus and over 4.55 million world wide.

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COVID, wood,casein, tin cans
24"x 18"x 6". 2020

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60B-COVID detail_edited.jpg

Mission

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Vision

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