I would never surrender Dorothy
Emerald City at Project for Empty Space.
I would never surrender Dorothy was a site specific installation created for the Emerald City show at Project for Empty Space. When artist talk about drug culture they usually talk about their experiences with substance abuse but I felt like I needed to create a piece that spoke to my experience with drug culture as a child of drug addicts. I was born addicted to heroin and adopted out of foster care. My adopted mother was a drug dealer and I was constantly in stressful and demoralizing situations during my childhood. Abandonment issues often took a back seat to safety concerns. When people asked me about my ethnicity and upbringing I would often be told how lucky I was to be adopted at all. When the open call for this show was announced I saw the famous scene from the Wizard of Oz in my head, the Wicked Witch of the West flying high on her broom to deliver the ultimatum “Surrender Dorothy “ in smoke over the Emerald City. As an orphan myself I knew that the choice of city wide annihilation or the well being of some little girl wouldn’t have been up for much debate in the real world. Fiction offered a dilemma that sadly wouldn’t exist for most children of drug addicts who are constantly shuffled from home to home and place to place being told they don’t deserve to take up much space. The installation was made entirely of found objects that were abandoned in a warehouse space I was living in at the time.