CONVERSATIONS ABOUT GROWING UP
looping video projection, audio track, running time: 2hrs 21mins
Created for an exhibit titled $1000 Reward for the 20 Foot Santa Claus at 17 Cox Gallery and then reinstalled at the Atomic Cafe in Beverly, MA.
Santa Claus is about suspended imagination. In many western cultures, children are taught to believe in St. Nick as a figure that has the potential to make all of their material dreams come true on Christmas morning. As they grow they discover that this is merely folklore and thus a little bit of that childhood magic disappears. This passage from belief to reality can feel similar to that which happens for many upon exiting college and entering “the real world”.
At the Atomic Café in downtown Beverly, the majority of the employees there are in their mid to late 20’s. All of these employees are educated and most of them have degrees in creative fields. They are struggling to pay back student loans and imagine futures in careers far more stimulating than food service. However, they do love the place where they work and the people that they work with. They work hard and move quickly through rushes of demanding customers. Often written off, these workers have a lot more to offer the world than they are given credit for. Even still when they are not at their day jobs, they make art, they direct plays, they are writers, photographers, filmmakers, designers, and musicians. The video footage is taken from Youtube and consists of home movies of families interacting with Santa and on Christmas morning.The audio is taken from recorded conversations with the baristas of the Atomic Café about their childhood experience of Christmas, Santa Claus, belief and transition.