In 2016, the Contemporary Jewish Museum SF commissioned me to create a work based on a Jewish folktale. In the midst of a divisive election year, I was drawn to "The Bird of Happiness." The tale concludes with the revelation of a young king’s daily ritual of spending an hour inside a shack, looking at his reflection in a mirror dressed in the rags he wore before becoming king. This daily remembering imbues the young king with wisdom, humility and long-term perspective. The title of the piece, 200 Year Present, comes from Elise Boulding, anti-nuclear activist and advocate for symmetrically considering one hundred years into the past and future when making current political, environmental and economic decisions.
Initially, 200 Year Present seems like a solid form. As viewers approach, the space between the layers is quickly revealed. The sculpture is comprised of 18 suspended layers of handmade paper from pulped bed sheets and t-shirts. The layers reflect each other, mirroring shifts in scale, negative space, and color. Viewers are encouraged to spend time standing in the center of the undulating symmetrical sculpture.