or What We Leave When We Leave Home: Odes to New York
These organs were created in 2008 during a year-long artist-in-residence program at Hub-Bub in Spartanburg, South Carolina and installed in New York City in the summer following the completion of the residency.
My relocation from New York City to Spartanburg, and my feeling that I may never return to New York, led me to question the definition of home in fundamental ways and contributed to an overwhelming feeling of homelessness and displacement. I often invoked the memory of New York with a great sadness and nostalgia; I felt I had left there some of the most vital parts of myself. The organs are influenced by these feelings; they attempt to assess and define the qualities of home.
I chose seven places in the city that held the most meaning for me and then wrote letters to each of those places, discussing their role in my life in New York as well as my decision to bring that particular life to an end. These letters were handwritten onto scrolls and inserted into glass vials, which in turn, are each held in one of my vital internal organs (sculpey, acrylic paint, marker).
These organs were installed clandestinely in the places that the scrolls correspond to, in hopes that they would be found and read by current residents. It was a very literal way of leaving a piece of myself in my old home and, at the same time, making sure that I could never really leave, and that I will always retain a presence there.