between tin men
Occupying the world of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its myriad sequels, Between Tin Men reanimates the great American fairy tale with narratives of revolutionary feminism, Marxism, and modern love. Manifesting variously over the last seven years as performance, installation, episodic video, and web project, Between Tin Men traces the saga of Nimmie Amee — a minor (Munchkin) character in Baum's extensive universe — and her infatuation with a Tin Man who has already lost his heart to another metal lover.
A beloved children’s author, L. Frank Baum was also an avid participant in Gilded Age Capitalism, as a salesman and theorist of visual merchandising — his treatise on store window decoration, “The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors,” (1900) is central to the project’s thematic and conceptual underpinnings. Baum’s journalism repeatedly endorsed westward expansion via the genocide of Indigenous peoples, seemingly supported (white) women’s suffrage while harshly parodying the Suffragette movement in The Marvelous Land of Oz (1908). Between Tin Men considers this ugly reality in relation to authorial ownership and fan labor, and concedes that the books' most revolutionary potential is actually not within the texts themselves, but rather Baum’s nonproprietary relationship to authorship.
Excerpt from performance at Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, NY 2017
Highlights from Part I, performed at Roulette on November 7, 2017
Excerpt from performance at Bard College on June 15, 2016
Between Tin Men expands on the protagonist's relationship with the inanimate – one of both sexual and commodity fetish – by also creating a world of objects, or “souvenirs.” Signaling a network between its disparate sites of distribution–the black box, the commercial gallery, the non-profit, and the web–the project performs the multiplicity of popular franchise culture while underscoring the radical potential of fan communities and their gift economies.
Excerpt from one-channel video version of BTM, Part I. (Work-in progress)
Between Tin Men: Gifts and Souvenirs at Lubov, New York, 2017.
Writing and Press for Between Tin Men
BOMB Magazine: Amy Ruhl's Between Tin Men by Amber Power • Link
Bedford + Bowery: Art Hearts: Experimental Comics, A Munchkin Saga, and More Art This Week by Cassidy Dawn Graves • Link
Art F City: This Week's Must-See Art Events: Condo (the Good Kind) Invades New York by Anthony Farley • Link
What Should We Do: Expert Picks: WSWD's Summer Art Guide by Jess Bender • Link
The Village Voice: Datebook by Osman Can Yerebakan • Link
Jennifer: Porcelana Fria by Catalina Arzani • Link