blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


SARAH BEDNAREK  |  Comforting Word

Comforting Word, 11/2004, 24in x 60in x 24in, used sweaters, foam, wood, wire

I made this piece at the height of the debates for the presidential election. It is a podium with press microphones, covered in grandma sweaters. I have noticed, as I think we all do, that public officials speak almost completely in coded bromides. This seems to be a diversionary tactic.

The discourse presented to us is highly sentimental, appeals to our most deep-seated fears, is largely atrophied, and lacks the depth and diversity in which a country as large and populous as America should be conversant. I am making a correlation between the pattern and function of grandma sweaters to these deeply unsettling observations about public discourse. Grandma sweaters insulate and warm a frail and ailing body while projecting benevolent cuteness and sentimentality.

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