Someone Else’s Problem

7’x 8’x 8′
Wood, paint

In the 1990’s, when I made this sculpture, I noticed that many popular television shows focused on people’s failingsNanny 911, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Cops, American Idol, The Oprah Winfrey Show, etc.  There continue to be many shows oriented in this way. As viewers, we are invited to voyeuristically peer into the troubled lives, mistakes, or delusions of others.  Some shows set us up to feel pity, some encourage us to laugh, they offer the potential of self-reflection, but that doesn’t seem to be the true intent.  These shows feed on a basic human desire to distance our selves from our problems by pointing to others with “bigger” problems.  In pointing at someone else’s problem we get a cheap moment of distraction from our own troubles and a feeling of superiority, but it is never long before someone is pointing back our way.