Understudy for Animal Farm


In this project I have taken on George Orwell’s Animal Farm. As Orwell made all the animals in his allegory complicit in the pigs’ tyranny through their apathy and fear, I was driven to create a piece where every viewer is an active participant.

This project, entitled “Understudy for Animal Farm,” is therefore an interactive, performative installation that explores issues of power, status, and identity. The piece involves up to 30 individual pig masks (or hoods) meticulously fashioned by hand out of pillowcases. I have designed the pillowcase pig hoods so they can be handled and worn. The pillowcase itself evokes feelings of intimacy and comfort. However, as the mask is put on and obscures the participant’s identity, it becomes a veil, a hood, even a gag. At the same time, the prints and patterns on the fabric establish and evoke their own cultural distinctions by drawing upon ideas of “good taste.” Once a participant chooses a pig hood and puts it on, I take their photograph, which is later loaded onto a dedicated website for the project.

Exhibition Venues:

516:Arts Block Party, June 2014, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Station Independent Projects, August 23-24 2014, New York, New York

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, as a part of “State of the Art”, September 2014 – January 2015, Bentonville, Arkansas

New Mexico Museum of Art, as a part of “Looking Forward Looking Back”, September 2015 – January 2016, Santa Fe, New Mexico