I began The White House China series in the spring of 2016 to explore an America historically rooted in conquest and wrestling with a resurfacing of white supremacy during and since the presidential election of that year. A country once perceived as a beacon for democracy has at its root a constant struggle for social justice; an environment treasured and exploited, a worldview both protective and invasive. Embedded in a patriotic narrative, the rise and economic glory of the United States was fueled by the eradication of indigenous people and built on the backs of the enslaved. The presidential residence was no exception.
Utilizing antique news engravings reminiscent of formal dinnerware artwork, I merge illustrations into reconstructed presidential china patterns and photograph them in staged environments. My aim is to navigate difficult subjects while offering subtext to the supposed civilization and culture set around historic dining tables.