8153

“Red World”

2018
powder-coated steel, casters, plastic, speakers, MP3 players, misc. hardware, wire, vinyl lettering
Audio: 2 hrs
76” x 24” x 91”

Red World is a staged farce that sets into motion a dialectical process by incorporating a structured pairing between two individuals. These seemingly opposing cultural and historical figures, with their voices, applause, laughter, and politics, reveal their positions of power. The contrast and overlapping content between an ideologue and a comedian is played out. The historical figures and voices in Red World are Red Skelton, a comedian from Indiana and Joseph McCarthy, the Senator from Wisconsin, both represent cultural memory from the 1950’s cold war. Red World incorporates a two-channel audio emitted from the sculpture frame that resembles a partition or structural barrier. Mounted on small wheels, it can be positioned in different places within a room or viewing situation. McCarthy was the instigator behind a nation-wide scare tactic known as McCarthyism and blacklisted individuals that were believed to be associated with Communism and treason. Skelton, known for his characters that he performed or mimed, were based on his own life experiences. His radio career began as a host where many of his characters were created. These characters were a hobo, a farmer, a simpleton, and others that drew attention to class differences, income inequality, education, societal protocols, and other scenarios from that era. He would draw attention to the cultural and societal conventions, where his characters would offer simple wisdom, lampoon, or critiques of high society and established belief systems. Both McCarthy and Skelton demonstrated their conservative and white supremacist patriarchal models through the transmission of their speeches, actions, and performances in Radio and Television.