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Sharon Shapiro

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

On August 11, 2017, my hometown made international news when white supremacists descended upon the University of Virginia's grounds to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They brandished tiki torches, racist and homophobic slogans, and Nazi salutes, including "Jews will not replace us." The Unite the Right faction and counter-protestors' clashes culminated the following morning, leaving three dead and thirty-eight injured. What happened in Charlottesville jolted the country out of its abeyance. My current body of work addresses these events. I juxtapose the frivolity of fashion with images containing historical and political significance, divorcing them from their framework to add another layer of complexity to the concepts of memory and nostalgia. History, often known mostly through what is visual in the form of artifacts and depictions, is simultaneously complicated and implicated. I present a world both personal and universal, a world in which time coalesces and collapses.

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