the /200 movement
In order to honor the women’s lives who were stolen by Epstien, R Kelly, Harvey Weinstien, and others who may never be exposed, I chose to do something large scale to communicate the imbalance of justice. In March of 2020 the docu-series 'Filthy Rich' aired on Netflix. It tells the stories of seven survivors who came forward against the abuse of Jeffrey Epstein. I had just competed two years of EMDR trauma therapy when this documentary came out.
The significance of the number 200 comes from the $200 which Epstein paid victims for their silence or compliance. This number was the an injustice in itself. It was the price of irreversible damage and a lifetime of recovery.
There are two gold casts in the almost 900 piece installation to mark the first and the 200th. Women from all over the globe have contributed to the installation through letters, Polaroids, and body casting. A small grouping of casts have been done to honor survivors in Pakistan who reached out to me with the request of being involved without being able to mail letters or Polaroids.
This exhibition was not inspired by Epstein. It was inspired by the women who fought from their teenage years into adulthood against sexual violence. The number of plaster casts is in spite of Epstein. This exhibition is not about the abuser it is about the survivor.
In the original installation a clear case held a broken mandible. Epstein’s own brother requested a private autopsy be done after his original cause of death, suicide, was revealed by the prison he was kept in. The second autopsy revealed blunt force to his skull.
The single box contrasted the almost 550 plaster casts on the wall at the time. In some ways it showed just how small Epstein was- dust to dust. In other ways its purpose was to provoke a dissonance in the viewer that the owner of that single bone destroyed hundreds of young women’s lives and escaped justice in death.
My intention was originally to have the jaw resting on its own, however, as I continued casting past 200 molds I wanted the power of the womxn I’ve encountered to be inescapable by covering surrounding walls, the floors, and the broken jaw with molds.
Since its origin this piece has grown exponentially as survivors inspire other survivors to join the movement. There will be 1,000 in 2021. The exhibition has been presented in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Winston Salem, West Palm Beach, Nashville, and Indianapolis. This year it will be shown in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and yet again in Nashville.