NOT YOURS TO TAKE
This project contains mentions of date rape drugs and suggestions of sexual assault.
If this is a sensitive topic to you please proceed with your own discretion. This project is meant to raise awareness of this issue.
This installation is a commentary on the news that there were date rape drugs found in one of the Frats at Brown University in the Fall semester of 2014. Brown University is RISD's neighboring college and we merge together on multiple occasions. Learning that this issue was so close to me and people that I care about was shocking. In response to this discovery, I decided to create a public installation in the Wriston Quad or "Frat Row" (as RISD students call it) on Brown campus.
This passive message to raise awareness was done in the form of innocent looking porcelain cats. I attached tags to all of the cats that have short questions about people trying to steal them and take them home. With this method of spreading the message, I saw what kinds of people had the sympathy to stop and read the tags and what kinds of people walked straight through them. Cats were broken and stolen as well as saved. I wanted to bring to light the issue of women and femmes being seen as objects that need to be posessed instead of individual humans who deserve a choice. I captured this issue by making identical iterations of kitsch cats - therefore making them an object that can be taken and posessed. People are not identical objects who can be taken advantage of. And for those who have lived through it, they are survivors whol have their own voices.
This project is one of the finals for the Slip Cast Ceramics class taught by Frank Bosco.
All of them were hand-poured porcelain castings.
This entire project all started with a $1.00 porcelain kitsch cat from a thrift store.
Here they are pre-firing, all together.
For my installation, I just placed them in the pathway leading into the Wriston Quad and observed.
As I watched, the people passed by these cats and either stopped and looked deeper into the meaning of their being there or walked without glancing down. Groups of friends stopped to discuss their existence, flipped their tags, took photos, and moved on.
Four of the cats were broken during this installation. They were all in the pathways of men who did not notice their existence or decided to not change their path. It was interesting to observe that only males caused damage to them by their act of ignoring what was in front of them. It gives even more power to the objects and their invisibility to offenders.
To my surprise, they were moved out of harms way by two young women who I learned after talking to one of them were complete strangers. They saw the broken ones and felt for the cats.
Thank you for viewing this project. I felt that this was a very important piece to do.
This is for all of the people who are survivors of sexual assault. For those close to me and the strangers that I meet.