Boys Will Be

The site specific installation, Boys Will Be (2015), was produced for the Industry of the Ordinary Project Space in Chicago, IL. The work, a wall drawing made using toy army men and hot glue, was part of a larger show, Boys Will Be Boys, juxtaposing celebratory conspicuous consumption and the reality of spikes in domestic violence around the holidays. Composed of multiples of a ubiquitous childhood toy, the work examines the role of play in socializing youth and asks the audience whether a tendency toward violence is innate or culturally grounded.

Hung across from a larger-than-life gun made out of discarded Christmas trees in the Mana Chicago gallery space and shown at the very beginning of January 2015, the work was also made at a celebratory time of year, full of promise for the future and reflections on the past. The guns in and around the piece reference the celebratory New Year’s gunfire that the Chicago Police routinely warn against AND the guns used to kill Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice in the previous year. Rather than offering a clear vision of how male children act or misbehave, I ask whether we, as a society, desire a culture of peace?

Documentation of the work was featured in The Spring 2015 Vol. 2 Issue 3 of SLAG Mag, published by the Old Furnace, an artist residency in Harrisonburg, VA focusing on social justice.

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