The Palm Authority Project
Ripstop fabric, airblower, sound
In collaboration with the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas' Orchestra Program for at-risk youth in the Caribbean
The Palm Authority Project consists of five, white inflatable hands ranging from 8 to 14 feet in height. Together the large hands demand your attention as they occupy their space with distinction. The piece uses palm reading as a metaphor to represent the influence of society on the individual. The hands inherit creases that supposedly predict an individual’s personality and future; this fortunetelling emulates the manner in which a society prescribes the lifestyle or social nature of an individual.
The sculptures are made of 120 yards of rip-stop fabric. The artist supplements the visual component of her installation with an auditory element presenting the main rules of palm reading. She worked with children from Jamaica, St. Lucia, Haiti and El Salvador to record the text in English, Spanish and French. These children are part of AMA | Art Museum of the Americas' Orchestra Program for at-risk youth in the Caribbean and a visual arts exchange project with the Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE) for youth in rural El Salvador and Salvadoran youth living in Washington, D.C.
The large hands, symbols of the authority figures, dominate the space and viewer, and create a contrast with the cartoonish nature of the white inflatable sculptures, and the soft chatting of the children's voices. This conflict invites a viewer's personal interpretation and creates a multi-dimensional dialogue between the viewer and the piece, the viewer and the external world but, most importantly, between the viewer and his own conscious.