I told them once, I told them twice, 2022
Art at Ivory Silo Farm, Westport, MA
The latest in the Kim Jong Un exploration, at the inaugural edition of Art at Ivory Silo, an exhibition, mostly outdoors, of artists related to Ivory Silo Farm in Westport, Massachusetts, August 13&14, 2022.
Tent Column, 2022
Ivory Silo Farm, Westport, MA
Tent Column (2022), also a part of Art at Ivory Silo, was suspended from a branch of a tall locust tree, where it engaged in a dialogue with the wind.
Concrete Cathedral (Prototype #1), 2022
Concrete Cathedral is the first in a series of sculptures inspired by an anecdote Howe heard from Edi Rama, an artist who is also the Prime Minister of Albania. At a talk hosted at the Marion Goodman gallery in 2016, Rama talked about growing up under an extreme communist government that outlawed religion and actively persecuted practitioners. He described churches that were covered in concrete and turned into movie theaters and basketball courts. Howe turns this borrowed recollection into a meditation on physical erasure and architectural repurposing, two long-standing gestures of authoritarian rule. Borrowing from the structural paradigm of the Fabergé egg, a concrete box is cranked open to reveal a cathedral which in turn opens to reveal a pristine basketball court.
Merry Christmas! Love, Kim Jong Un, 2022
A North Korean living room. Dominating the center is a lighted Christmas tree, with ball ornaments, each of which is a head of Kim Jong Un. The top ornament is a soaring North Korean missile. Around the base of the tree is a model of Kim Jong Un’s personal armored train. Next to it is a nutcracker in the form of a goose-stepping North Korean soldier. On the wall are portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. In a pot on the floor is a large begonia, representing “Kimjongilia”, named after Kim Jong Il and bred to bloom on his birthday. A North Korean TV set shows video of Kim’s black Mercedes 600 limousine hurtling through outer space. On the front fenders are North Korean flags. Kim stands waving in a spacesuit.
Kim Jong Un becomes a roly-poly pop figure, simultaneously cheerful and menacing, powerful and ingratiating. Spirits of religion and consumerism, neither of which are allowed to exist in North Korea, float in the air.
Book of Dread, 2020
The Book of Dread is a continuation of the Security Blanket project begun in 2015. Each blanket image is presented across the fold of a 67 x 45 inch stainless steel ‘book.’ The viewer flips the pages, encountering simultaneously the comforting softness of the blankets and their disturbing depictions.
Tent Field: Contested Territory, 2019
42 Social Club, Lyme, CT
Tent Field: Contested Territory, 2019, is an installation designed specifically for the 42 Social Club location in Lyme, Connecticut. On this site embedded with the histories of the Pequot tribal people and the arrival of the English colonists, the tents populate the woods and act as mute interrogators of the invisible histories of the land. The ground becomes content.
The Tent Field project began as an effort to conjure a physical artwork from a descriptive passage found in Albert Camus’ The Plague. The project now numbers over 100 red rip-stop nylon tents, varying in scale but all considerably less than life-size. River stones placed inside secure them, while careful observation reveals that they are fully enclosed, without entrances or exits.