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The five paintings shown above are a part of a larger exhibition that has yet to be created. These completed works explore family and society and ask the question: Do the harmful actions we impose on ourselves originate in the home or society?
The title of this exploration of home and society, Infinite Regression, suggests the idea of one standing between two mirrors where one’s image reflects back and forth forever. The chicken and egg problem of what came first also exemplifies this concept wherein it’s impossible to decide which of the two entities predated the other one. The two entities considered in these paintings are home and society. Everyday experience tells us that no effect can occur without an initial cause; however, infinite regression makes it impossible to tell cause from effect since each relies on the other.
In each painting, the setting for this question occurs at a table in a home foyer. Each table invites the viewer’s attention with a welcoming floral arrangement and beautiful mirror that creates a sense of order and stability. It depicts the home as the center of the world and a place of order that contrasts with the chaos of the outside world. This chaos, often labeled as social ills (i.e., drug abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, gun violence, and racism), is evident in the objects on the table and the mirror.
The irony of labeling these issues as social ills lies in the premise that family (home) is the first building block of human society. It bears the primary responsibility for the education and socialization of children as well as instilling values of citizenship and belonging in society; therefore, perhaps these issues should be labeled as family ills. Yet, many young adults have left happy, stable homes and entered society to become victims of drug addiction, alcoholism, and violent behaviors. Is society the perpetrator? Who's to blame?
In the end, does blame need to be given? Is society on the other side of our locked front doors? Infinite Regression provides a space for one to consider one's home amid a society consisting of millions of homes; to focus on human frailty to compel us to look inward at the harmful actions we impose on ourselves instead of placing the blame elsewhere: a place we would rather consider apart from ourselves.