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Johannah Herr: Your Comfort is Attended by Permanent Violence
December 30, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Using cut vinyl and wall paint, Johannah Herr’s monumental text-based murals simultaneously create a dazzling surface of metallic and glitter elements that seduces viewers into engaging in the polarizing discussions of these urgent issues, from women’s rights to climate justice and the value of Black lives. The embedded text—“YOUR COMFORT IS ATTENDED BY PERMANENT VIOLENCE”—wraps across the doorway break in the wall, reading “YOUR COMFORT IS / PERMANENT” on one side and “ATTENDED BY / VIOLENCE” on the other.One can only adequately read the piece in entirety by positioning oneself obliquely at either end of the hallway. In this position the two phrases, seemingly separate when facing each wall directly, come together to form one sentence. Herr sees the oblique angle as metaphor for the perspective of the marginalized (whether that be the female, queer, racial minority, people with disabilities etc.). When one views from the vantage point of the dominant group, it is often impossible to see the larger scope of how one’s privilege is built on the marginalization of others. However, from the marginalized vantage point, this relationship is abundantly clear.