NEVER / EVER
11'9" x 12'8"
spray paint on concrete
commissioned by the ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado Boulder
I like to take simple words and concepts, and through repetition—or some other process of defamiliarization—make them strange, so we approach them through a new perspective.
As kids, we use words like “never” all the time. But as we grow in adulthood, we become more circumspect, realizing the world is far more complex than we first thought and we quickly learn to “Never say never.” But the adverbial phrase “NEVER EVER” still sticks with me. It has a certain resonance with our current political and social climate.
Where is this phrase validated and needed? What issues call for this adamant inflexibility? How do we balance intransigence with tolerance?