Becky Alley

Region: South

In recent years, I have used the politically charged topic of war as a point of entry into conversations about power, gender, and memory. I gravitate toward materials that are common in everyday domestic life and, through a simple repetitive process of counting, transform them into memorials for the war dead. The ephemeral and delicate nature of the work stands in contrast to the hypermasculine monolithic forms of marble and stone often associated with memorials. The processes employed speak to labor, struggle, endurance, and ritual, while the materials serve to reframe our collective understanding of power in ways that give strength to culturally feminized notions like empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. My work aims to challenge the patriarchal perception of war as valorous with the feminist notion that war (like most social ills) is disproportionately experienced by the most vulnerable members of society.