"American Progress"? Close Ups
Close up images of embroideries from "American Progress"?.
Featuring an iconic angel guiding settlers west, American Progress, by John Gast, was one of the most widely circulated images representing the idea of Manifest Destiny. In “American Progress”? I appropriate Gast’s imagery, unraveling his romanticized symbols to expose the violence that lies beneath our feet here in Maine. While not a site of westward expansion, Maine holds a violent colonial legacy that continues to the present. Flickering between Maine’s histories and mythologies within the frame of grotesque silhouettes, “American Progress”? invokes the Rorschach test to ask what is seen and unseen for each of us in the trauma of the landscape.