Just leave looked at how people can unwillingly disappear from society’s view. Involuntary invisibility had been on my mind since my brother became a resident in a nursing home. I was struck by how, when people enter such a facility, they simply disappear. Through the installation Re-visible, I introduce people who are forced to make nursing facilities their homes. Portraits are both drawn and eaten into diaphanous fabric, reminding us how fragile their existence is in the memories of those who once knew them as colleagues, neighbours, or friends. Slipped into a pocket below each portrait is an abbreviated story of the person’s life, as he or she might describe it to us if able.
My brother’s disappearing act also helped me recognize other kinds of forced invisibility. Hatred and bigotry hold an inherent desire to impose invisibility. The bookwork, Take a Pill, addresses misogyny: by way of self-portraits, I do take the pill, and then disappear, just as the misogynist would have me do. Cloaks of Invisibility, based on solicited accounts, depicts some of the ways one can fall out of view. Visitors were invited to share their own experiences of invisiblity by writing out their stories on old typewriters. The vintage machines were an ideal way to log the stories, since they too have been cast aside by our culture.