Falling on Deaf Ears

Sculpture created for the Defi Art Biennale in 2012. The juried exhibition invited selected artists to construct new artworks from industrial building materials provided by a manufacturer, Schlüter-Systems. My piece was created from felt-like multi layered soundproofing materials. The work was sculpted based on studies of various politicians’ ears (Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Sarkozy, etc.), enlarged to the size of large wall-to-wall speakers.

By juxtaposing ears, organs that augment and allow the human body to perceive sounds, with a material that inhibits this very activity, I hoped to represent political figures that were deaf to their constituants’ actual problems. These democratically elected leaders, embodiments of a political system that lauds our individual freedom to choose by whom we are governed, can at once advance and inhibit citizens’ actual freedoms, as we have seen through the fallout from the PRISM data mining scandal in the United States and in Europe.

Falling on Deaf Ears, Soft sculpture, felted sound proofing material and rivets, 60 cm x 80 cm, Installation View: Defi Expo 2012, Ear shapes created after portrait studies of various world leaders (Pictured: Barack Obama)