Images Essays and Reviews Biography

Inheritance (2007)
Wave Hill House, Bronx, NY

“…for the sake of that which ye have unlawfully gotten; it will be a moth in your estates which will certainly eat them up, either in your own, or your children’s time. (Sermon, William Beveridge, 18th c.)

The dresses were starched so that the form of a child is implied but not present. They were suspended from the ceiling, as though flying. Here and there, in an armhole, or inside a hem, a moth was perched. I see them as silent reminders. The wealth of the states on the Eastern Seaboard was built upon its harbors and trade, especially the triangle slave trade. I always think of this in relation to the large estates that line the Hudson River.

Dimensions variable.
Starched and singed christening dresses, preserved moths from West Africa.

Photo credit: Lynne Yamamoto