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Isolation is a collaborative installation by Ceca Cooper, Nick Poppens and Joe Schaeffer that contemplates notions of privacy, isolation and shelter. Throughout the confusing and chaotic time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have undoubtedly been moments of fear and hopelessness in all of us. The worst pain is often felt by those already vulnerable to poverty, dislocation and hunger.

According to David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nation’s World Food Program, in an article published in the Washington Post on September 25, 2020, a wave of hunger and famine threatens to sweep across the globe before the pandemic ends. He says “Some 135 million people around the world faced acute food insecurity before the pandemic, and that number is expected to double this year.” Inspiration for this installation stems from a photograph taken by Poppens while on a photoshoot in a wooded area of Sioux Falls.

The photograph represents the many layers surrounding humanity and the lack thereof during times of turmoil and isolation, including privilege and social justice. This mattress was discovered in that same area and is presented with audio recordings from the location in which the photograph was taken. Privacy and isolation could be defined similarly, until you add perspective. During the time of the 2020 pandemic, while we were all in isolation and able to maintain privacy, others were struggling just to maintain the essentials of life: food, shelter and security. Privacy may then be viewed as a privilege. This installation is the first part of an exhibition by Cooper, Poppens and Schaeffer on the same theme that will include paintings and photographs in the Bates Trimble Gallery beginning in February 2021.

View Washington Pavilion hours:

November 23 2020


Start: November 23, 2020 @ 10:00 am
End: February 26 @ 5:00 pm
Cost: Free – $14
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Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center

301 S Main Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57104 United States

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Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center