A Critical Analysis of 'Contemporary Domesticity' / by Hannah Harley

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?

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 9.49.57 PM.png

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.