The Pledge

Submitted by Joan Baron

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Client: MonOrchid Gallery

Location: Phoenix, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2006

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team

Artist

Ali Lucero

Baron Studio

Architect

Anthony Floyd

Environmental Architect

Overview

This earth and fired clay installation explores and re-examines the value and power of taking pledges. I have been asking fundamental questions about our American Pledge of Allegiance. As I dissect each word, themes of isolation and superiority emerge and I find much to ponder. Today the world is interconnected. We have responsibilities to one another and the environment. Over 150 ceramic hands (the stripes) & round tile (the stars) with images & words, contextualize visionary thoughts. When placed over our hearts, can these hands represent a renewed commitment to a social and cultural inclusiveness?

Goals

I sincerely want the world to be a better, more compassionate place for more Beings. And, I believe it can be achieved. I suggest we must start at the beginning, with the tools we all possess; Our Hands, Our Hearts & Our Minds. When called upon, we historically have stepped up to the plate (think Victory Gardens globally, WWII). We were united in change. With The Pledge, I seek to stimulate, challenge, & excite conversation within our current socio-political arena. The intent of this piece, a cadenced meditative walk, invites participation. Since childhood, we recited "The Pledge of Allegiance". It is imperative that we understand the long-term ramifications of such a pledge. Can we broaden our allegiance? Ceramic hands, grounded by the earth, carry messages & pose questions that address earth ecology, social justice, diversity, renewables, & water security to name a few. It's about honoring a historic ideal & strengthening its message to craft a collaborative future.

Process

This particular invitational installation was part of “A Warlike People; Victims or Perpetrators”. I am appreciative to the curatorial staff at Monorchid Gallery for recognizing the questions and invitation poised by my installation. Ceramic hand forms were created by various individuals during the early stages of the process representing multiple cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

Additional Information

I amlooking to raise funds for part 2 of this artistic inquiry by asking individuals to recite this Pledge to further explore the power of words and imagery to affect positive change while inviting rich dialogue and questioning. The goal is to create a short documentary.