In 2016 my mother was in the late stages of Lewy Body Dementia. It was a nightmarish situation for a number of reasons, but for the purposes of this summary it was nightmarish because she didn’t want to live with dementia, but she also didn’t want to be dead. I wasn’t in an emotionally strong place in November of that year when, in spite of my certainty to the contrary, Donald Trump won the US presidency, and a month after that my mom was dead. The things that challenged me in my personal life and the things that challenged me as an American aligned in a way that made it very easy for me to understand mortality as the fiber connecting it all, and in January 2017 when I first heard about TMT in relation to its role in Trump’s election, I was finally able to explain how and why.
The project above shifted shape a few times from conception to execution. Initially I wanted it to be a video assemblage of eight Día de los Muertos inspired alter displays showcasing the enormous collection of - for lack of a better word - stuff that my mom saved throughout her life. When she became sick I started obsessively adding to the collection as sort of a "mom insurance" policy for after she died. If I couldn't talk to her or ask her questions or listen to her stories, the artifacts of those experiences would be the next best thing, and you never know what you might one day consider "memorabilia." I invested a fair chunk of time into prepping the alter displays, but ultimately was thwarted by lack of equipment and know-how to capture them in the very dark, mostly candlelit environment my heart was set on. I came up with a plan B to submit by my application deadline, which is what you see here. In some ways I think this presentation might be better because the viewer has the opportunity to examine fewer items at a time more closely, although I'd like to keep working on it. I'll Miss You in Advance is an inconclusive reflection on end-of-life issues, quality-of-life issues, and the magical properties of our belongings.