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Warren Fourth of July

Gioia Kuss | VT, United States.

Blind Justice:
Our relationship with balancing the scales of justice in America makes reference to an ancient Greek/Roman lady liberty who is blindfolded to represent impartiality. A blinded justice can also refer to abuse of the law by the judicial system.

The Warren Fourth of July Parade, takes place in a small village with a river running through it— complete with its own quintessential Vermont covered bridge—fills me with patriotism. In the 80’s I saw a float objecting to nuclear power. I realized vocal opposition to things I did not believe in—had a place to be seen and joyfully celebrated. Through the decades, I have found my views and hopes displayed by intrepid individuals and feel a part of a community.

This year with radical repressive edicts and assault on stare decisis from SCOTUS, I gleefully pondered, outside my depressive response, what the people of the Warren Parade would create for their monumental float. This traditional centerpiece features transformation in its function and design. Always taller than the crisscrossing electric lines, ubiquitous in small towns, careful manipulation keeps people safe and allows a story to unfold on a monumental scale. This year’s theme of Liberty brought out diversity in participants from old to young, non-humans, and transport means, to achieve their journey to subsequent deliberations and celebrations. This is my America.

My work promotes discussions about how the survival of species depends on protection of natural resources, as well as social equality and mutual respect. I explore relationships we, as individuals and collective groups, have with the greater world, the environment, and to our own awareness. My narratives seek to harmonize support for human dignity, with a celebration of the planet’s sanctity.

Through composition, using what I refer to as a printmaker’s eye, I delineate hierarchies, complex and simple relationships and patterns that speak to intricacies of a planetary intelligence, which belie interconnectedness. I believe that an underlying good permeates our existence and within our consciousness, societies have long awarded mythic proportions to it. I develop projects and relationships to create value, support knowledge building, and creativity.

Land figures largely in my world-view. Our existence is supported by our ability to find nurture and sustenance by harvesting gifts from land: some processes we support, some benefits we take outright, and some aspects we are destroying. If our goal is not to overwhelm nature but live as a part of it, then we can celebrate both the common place and the fantastic—especially when they reside together. These facets of life within our society drive my practice, whether by immersing myself in a culture, conducting research, or collaborating, in support of dialogues that enhance spirit and life on this planet.

I pursue and celebrate stories that narrate possibility and nuance from around the world. I belong to the community of people who are working to ensure our species will not irreparably damage much of what I find sacred.

Gioia Kuss

www.gioiakuss.com

gioiakk@gmail.com

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