Six Foot Rule
At the beginning of 2020, I made some steampunk-inspired masks. By some unfortunate coincidence, I completed them at the same time that covid lockdown began. So many momentous questions arose: Will a lockdown actually work? How will a lockdown be enforced (and who will enforce it)? Is the resulting fragmentation of society deadlier than the virus itself?
These questions, along with the six-foot social distancing and mask mandates, inspired me to create a character named Apocalypse. Loosely based on the Grim Reaper, Apocalypse symbolizes death and fate, but unlike the Reaper, she does not take the lives of individuals…rather, she is the merciful cultivator of ideas, beliefs, and morals. She challenges us to be like the gardener who must smite the weeds so that the flowers may grow. She asks us to rethink what we hold dear to our hearts, and to be willing to shed all that is not essential.
Despite me being mostly an antisocial introvert, I did miss seeing friends and making art together, so I decided to put together a photo shoot with my friend Chris Barbour. Of course, we had to do it outdoors, with masks, at least six feet apart. (I’m a rebel, but I still play by the rules sometimes!)
We entitle this photo shoot “Six Foot Rule.” I could get into the whole wordplay aspect of it, but I’m not really into explaining punchlines, so I’ll leave it at that. Anyway, it’s funny how six feet was chosen to be that magical number that’s supposed to save our lives. Is it no coincidence that the phrase “six feet under” originates from the Bubonic plague mandate that dead bodies be buried that same depth under the earth?
Masks were made of craft foam and upcycled petri dishes from the biotech lab I used to work at. Both masks were sold at auction at the Oceanside Museum of Art Night of the Living Art: An Art After Dark Extravaganza 2020. Scythe made of carved foam and PVC pipe. Bodysuit made of scrap fabric from another project.