AMERICAN DREAM, THE JEWISH MUSEUM
American Dream, the Jewish Museum project was a part of the Off The Wall: Artists At Work exhibition curated by Andrew Ingall at the Jewish Museum, New York, March 16-20, 2008. We asked visitors and employers of the Jewish Museum to share their American Dream with us by writing or drawing it with a magic marker on a thought bubble. Our participation in the exhibition allowed us to set up a situation where we could freely approach the museum visitors and employers and ask them to share their American Dream with us.
This survey was an attempt to collectively rethink, reshape and understand anew the notion of the American Dream and American values. We worked for 4 days and over that period we interacted with about one hundred participants that resulted in a series of 71 photographs.
For us (artists at work), this project meant hearing many personal stories, exchanging ideas, sharing our experiences and realizing our social possibilities. Each photograph contributes to our group portrait; each personal dream contributes to the understanding of our social state at that moment in time; and this series shows what is often invisible: group dynamics, communal desires, social structures and national struggles.
American Dream, the Jewish Museum, photography by Anton Trofymov.
AMERICAN DREAM, BRIGHTON BEACH
American Dream, St.Petersburg bookstore, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn is an anthropological inquiry into Brooklyn's immigrant communities. Confronted by a radically different reality these new Americans are bound together by pursuing their American dreams and searching for new identities reflective of their new lives. How does one retain cultural roots while creating a new identity?
In the summer of 2007, we asked shoppers in the popular Russian-language bookstore St.Petersburg to share their American Dream with us by writing or drawing it with a magic marker on a thought bubble. Why did we use a bookstore? During the Iron Curtain era books and films played a very important role in the shaping of an image of the West. During the project, almost every participant shared his or her immigration story with us.
American Dream, the Jewish Museum, 2008, Series of 71 photographs, 30 x 30 inches each, Edition of 3
American Dream, St.Petersburg bookstore, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, 2007, Series of 43 photographs, C-print, 30 x 30 inches each, Edition of 3