Generative animation installation, infinite duration, sound
Bamboo Forest presents the alphabetical letters comprising Henry J. Hyde’s notorious remarks at the 1993 congressional debate, which unwittingly revealed the intersections of women’s reproductive rights with blatant racial and class discrimination. These letters continually disassemble and reassemble to form a series of short texts featuring premodern superstitious beliefs and recipes for contraception and abortion, collected from historical and scholarly texts.
The title comes from an ancient Korean folktale, in which a goldsmith is commissioned to make a crown for the king that would conceal his unusually large ears. Despite being sworn to keep the secret until his death, the goldsmith, unable to contain himself any longer, fled deep into a bamboo forest and shouted into the trees, “The King has donkey ears!” The bamboo forest, it turns out, couldn’t contain themselves either, and every time the wind blew through the forest, they echoed the words, “The King has donkey ears…”
The letters are constantly swept around the screen as if trapped in a windy forest that can’t help but echo and disclose these secrets, despite systemic and historical suppression of such knowledge.