Other Small Matters of Import
Corie J. Cole, 2008
Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, by Pieter Brueghel, is an allegory of the natural tendency to proceed with one’s day-to-day affairs while events of great importance pass unnoticed. We invent narratives to try to make comforting sense of our surroundings, and we readily accept narratives offered to us. We identify with others in order to try to understand them and our relationship with them, but too often turn the “Other” into a cartoon of ourselves in the process.
Globalization has brought us into new and often uncomfortable proximity with the “Others.” Our own welfare has become intimately tied to the well-being of Others, more so than ever in history. As U.S. citizens we need to seek out our history and try to understand, from a global perspective, the role our country has played in the welfare of our geographic and economic neighbors. When possible, we need to seek this knowledge first hand, through the experience of other cultures. I went to China to study Outsourcing first-hand by outsourcing my own work. I also chose to research Panama because of its complex relationship with the U.S. because of its role as a major artery of global trade.
The historical precedents of our current global situation can be found hidden in the margins, and in texts in other languages. Critical awareness of the sources of our information can allow us to refine our narratives, make better choices and be better citizens. I believe that searching for deep understanding is necessary for democracy. This exhibition is an attempt at understanding the various connections between my life, my role as an artist, politics, economics, and larger historical narratives.