Yard Sign Series #2: Hineni; Here I Am. I Am Here.
Yard sign, canvas, duct tape, mirror, chicken wire, wood, grass
40 x 37 x 5 inches
Hineni, Hebrew for here I am, is part of a series of works titled The Yard Sign Series. It was inspired by the 2020 American elections, during which it seemed as though every front yard in every town was peppered with yard signs aimed at one legislative action or another, or to influence passersby to vote for the homeowner’s preferred presidential candidate. Yard signs may be silent, but they nonetheless speak volumes.
Hineni features an intact mirror on one side and a broken mirror on the other. Simulating the yard sign, their height forces the viewer to bend down to look into them. This position of vulnerability is part of an invitation to look deeply and reflect on the role we each play in a system of inequality. This system includes among others; voting rights, legislative rights, health, food disparities, and housing inequality - all of which are embodied in this simple, identifiable shape.
The title is inspired by passages in the Torah where God asks Adam, Abraham, and Moses, “Where are you?” As Rabbi David Cohen writes in his February 2014 sermon, “Perhaps the question isn’t about geographical location. Perhaps, instead, it’s asking; where are you in your moral decision-making? To say Hineni is to live simultaneously in the past, the present, and the future: to see the future, alert to its possibilities, committed to its betterment.”
Where are you? I invite you to join me in watering the grass on which this yard sign stands. Its physical manifestation serves as a metaphorical invitation to become active and engaged in working for change.