This work was born out of my sense of wonderment. Every 9/11, I listen as the names of 2,975 people are recited. I can’t help but wonder how many more exist, but are not called - illegal immigrants, the delivery boy, the under-the-table paid domestics, the homeless man who opened the door in the early morning with a cup in his hand? When I hear on the news of the causalities of the day – 5, 10, 20 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, I wonder how many innocent native people died at the same time - people that were going to work, parents who were taking their children to school, others who were going to their place of worship. Why don’t we hear these numbers - the numbers of those killed who were trying to exist with a war literally in their backyard? When the African American Burial Ground was exhumed, I wondered how many more there were and what price they paid for freedom.
In Ma Lai, Vietnam, I walked on the site of a massacre where women and babies lives were taken in revenge. I held the soil in my hand and I wondered. During the transcontinental slave trade thousands of humans were captured and shipped to far away land for free labor and exploitation. I wonder how many perished en route or jumped overboard? At the Holocaust Museum, I looked at hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses, shoes, gold-capped teeth, and briefcases piled in small pyramids and I wondered whom they belonged to. In Rwanda, I wondered as I listened to my girlfriend tell the story of how she searched for her remaining family at a mass burial site. For the past four years, I worked in Cambodia with liberated sex slaves. I wondered how many were murdered before they were they were freed. I wondered who sold them. I walked in the Killing Fields where I witnessed fragments of what once were human beings. I wondered.
I wonder why?
I wonder if it will ever stop.
This body of work is meant to slow us down, make us look closely, silence us for the moment. It is created in homage and honor of the Unknown/UnNamed.