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Are you exploiting the people in your images through the use of these images?

I believe that there are very rare instances where art is truly exploitative, but those instances are real. I am not doing that. I am not taking people’s misery and using it for my gain. I am using images that are publicly available to us on the internet via the tremendous and important work of photojournalists and reframing it, taking it out of the hyper-speed media cycle which doesn’t allow us to truly emotionally digest these incredibly tragic stories and I’m giving it back to us in, what I feel, is a dignified manner. I am honoring the people in these tragedies. I am saying that we need to feel their pain; we need to understand this pain emotionally, slowly, painfully. I am bringing the viewer to these images as a matter of great dignity through a new awareness of the very real suffering in front of us. The other side of exploitation might be the question: Have I have ever had or do I have these experiences, and if I don’t why am I allowed to speak of them? My answer is: These are my times, your times, our times. It is our responsibility to feel them, to think them through and feel them some more, and ask ourselves "Why?" at every stage. I am doing, what I feel, is the most responsible cultural thing I can as an artist. I cannot imagine any kind of just world without the heroic work of journalism; my work honors that in a strange and roundabout way.

Why are you so interested in mass shootings?

The simple, one sentence answer is: What could possibly tell us more about the totaly failed state of our so-called society than the fact that we are the only society on earth with mass shootings, min


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