Section 4, 2015
34 x 16 in
Thread, cotton upholstery batting
June 25, 2013 was a bittersweet and paradoxical day in my personal life and my life as a citizen of the United States. I was recovering from thumb surgery when I heard my soon-to-be-spouse Lia yelping for joy down the hall as she heard the news that the Supreme Court had struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, thus making it possible for us and other same-sex couples to marry and have our relationships legally recognized.
Ironically, on the same day, the voting rights of low-income voters, young people, and people of color were jeopardized. Specifically, Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits racial and language discrimination in voting, was struck down.
In the piece I have stitched the complete text of Section 4. The words are barely visible and difficult to read and are sewn onto upholstery batting made of cotton, with all of that material’s historical allusions. Section 4 appears as delicate and fragile as democracy itself. - Lisa Kokin