This project explored the dialogic nature of identity and the value of being a cultural and racial ‘border dweller’ whose identity alludes definition. The work began with an English person posing a question to Londoners in public spaces. “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Americans?’ After photographing the respondents, I then made a photographic response using my own body that encapsulated the words the participants offered. I found myself inhabiting: The Iraq War, Hollywood, Arrogant, Makes Life Easy, Fat, and 50 other opinions. Through embodying the opinions of Londoners, I found a complex relationship between my own assumptions about the people I encountered, my own perceptions of how Americans were viewed by others, and my own understanding of myself. I developed an interactive installation in which the audience became performers in both public and private spaces provoking articulations and re-evaluations of personal assumption and stereotype. This process was later awarded a grant to extend the practice based research while travelling through Canada, the US and Puerto Rico.
From the installation