Darwinian Candelabra

2018

In the United States of America, there is a strong belief in the ‘self-made’ story; that wealth can be achieved by one’s abilities and efforts, that we are a meritocracy. While this is true for some, the strongest predictor of how wealthy you will be in your lifetime is how wealthy your parents (or grandparents) were.

Darwinian Candelabra is designed to demystify the premise of meritocracy and to shed light on the underlying cause of wealth inequality. The candelabra represents the ‘balance’ of wealth in society. It is set up to begin in a state of more-or-less equality standing for a meritocratic society, but as candles burn, its underlying structure creates an inevitable shift in balance, a transition, to a highly unequal form, revealing the structurally determined inequality from wealth accumulation over generations.

GROUP EXHIBITION “Gilded Age 2.0,” The Elms, Newport, RI, 5/22 – 6/22, 2018