I weep, tears of joy: over my son’s wedding; tears of grief: over the death of my mother; of happiness: over the birth my nephew; of delight: when reuniting with my daughter after a long absence, and then sadness when we part; of frustration: over ingrained social injustice; of relief: of being told my niece’s biopsy was negative. We weep when emotions overwhelm us.
Experimenting with new media to challenge my abilities and expand my range, since 2015 I have created several projects and installations around this theme: the universality of tears.
“Tears of Despair: A Year of Terror” is a project that recorded major terrorist incidents around the world from November 2015 to November 2016. The endeavor began after the Paris attacks in late 2015. Having personal attachments to that city, the attacks were especially horrifying to me. We in the West were sickened by the tragedy and stood in solidarity with the French nation. Though more upsetting was learning that just one day before, a similar attack occurred in Beirut with little Western media coverage.
I eventually returned to working three-dimensionally, but started working with a new medium, glass: the only material that could adequately convey the range of feelings. “Tears of Joy and Sadness” represents my tears, everyone’s tears--each individual and personal. Like the smile or the laugh, tears are universal, an expression of deep, often unspeakable, overflowing emotions.
Tears of Joy and Sorrow (detail), 2017 (Installation forEOTECHNIC SENSORIUM at Century House, Rosendale, NY) and Tears of Despair, plate 55: Guié, Chad, 31 January 2016, 2 dead, 32 wounded (detail)