Em Harris

Vegetable Close-Up

Screen Shot

  A bonus of privilege is that you never have to acknowledge it, making it too easy to let that awareness slip. In my other art classes, I had made art informed by my sexual orientation and gender identity, but never consciously by my race or class. Despite my efforts for awareness, I too was slipping. This made it clear to me that a rational understanding of privilege was insufficient. I needed to get beyond the intellectual, to feel it. I needed something visceral to latch onto. I needed to be angry. Hurt. Pissed off.

  This is how I came to comps by pushing stuff through holes. The produce makes it into the pot, mostly. The natural shapes of the fruits and vegetables are sacrificed in order to pass through the square. I, too, mutate to get by, leaving chunks of my identity behind. To me, this means the loss of heritage, the loss of community, and the separation I feel from other people like me. I am less whole without these pieces that I didn’t even know I was leaving behind. I have ancestors I don’t even think to think about, and I miss out on communities I never knew were possible. In return for access, I unwittingly accepted the these things that box me in. I was duped, but know that I am nonetheless accountable for changing this system of which I am apart. I am both the produce itself as well as the hand that forces it through.