Thank goodness for open dialogue and for peer critiques.
Last week, a friend came to me with concerns over my recent artistic project, Contemporary Domesticity. Several friends were enthusiastically supporting my new work and complimenting it, and for them I am grateful. But it was this genuine, constructive critique that spun me around and made me realize the grave and significant issues with this particular body of work. And I suspect that several individuals were interested in voicing these concerns as well.
Where are the minorities?
Where are the LGBTQA relationships?
Does 'millennial' automatically mean white, straight, middle class?
I now have to face the simple and hard fact that I overlooked whole facets and demographics of millennials. I glazed over invaluable members of this generation, ones who have supported me and loved me, even through this gross and negligent artistic oversight. I foolishly highlighted my own privilege, my own naivety, and my own ignorance.
As an artist, I hope to raise up important dialogues and to place the spotlight on important issues and concerns. I have researched and studied millennials, excitedly pouring myself into the topic. I have had amazing dialogue with friends, family members, professors, etc on these topics. I have tried to be as biased-free as possible. But in this project, I failed. Instead of showcasing a more accurate demographic of the American millennial generation, I showed my own Facebook feed's demographic - white, straight, middle class. And I know that I need to be better. It is not my place to wipe out important narratives and to pretend that this work speaks for millennials when it features such a small demographic and such a small percentage of the American experience.
So I will be taking down Contemporary Domesticity within the week. I leave it up for now so that you can view it for yourself, and that you can recognize the deep issues that are embedded in the work.
I sincerely and whole heartedly apologize to members of the communities that I have erased from this narrative. Your stories and experiences are not only important - they are vital.