The world is just one country itself.”
– Zigmund Bauman
“Bread and Circus,” was a term created by the Roman satirist and poet Decimus Junius Juvenalis (100 A.D.), who once said that what people really wanted was panem et circenses. That is, as long as people were fed and entertained, they would be kept distracted and diverted from participating in the activities of government, and they would be less of a problem for their leaders. These pieces are part of a larger installation, which was inspired by Juvenalis’ statement, which I think illustrates my assimilation into American culture.
When I became an American citizen in 2012, I felt a very real responsibility to consider and adopt a political position worthy of my newfound freedom. I also felt compelled to participate in discussions with my peers about their political beliefs, some of which were surprisingly passionate, yet intimate. In order to gain a better understanding of this complex political system, I sought a political education from a variety of sources, predominantly through mass media. But I quickly became frustrated and confused by the constant stimuli and bombardment of information attempting to shape my life choices. I felt like a naive target of a powerful market mechanism – an overfed, but undernourished child.
“Bread and Circus” embraces some aspects of my search for answers – the relationships of nation and identity; of passion and intimacy; of imagination and conflict; of citizenship and consumerism; and most importantly, of freedom and censorship.