Maria Farmer, Jeffrey Epstein, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (2019-2020)
August 2019: The New York Times reports on Maria Farmer, who reported in 1996 about the sexual assaults involving Jeffrey Epstein, a financier who abused over 36 young ladies from various countries over a period of three decades without any serious consequences. Farmer’s warning was ignored until now.
December 2019: The Salt Lake Tribune and other newspapers mention a whistleblower who claimed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) culled $100 billion in tithing and put those funds away in tax shelter havens and investments to increase the church leaders’ wealth instead of charitable purposes for impoverished church members.
Maria Farmer, Jeffrey Epstein, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an ongoing series currently containing a dye sublimation drawing printed on Parisian chiffon, a tapestry collage, and a sculpture.
The titular fabric drawing based on Polaroids that includes all known and surmised connections amongst forty-seven entities within the two cases mentioned above reveals how the world of Epstein intersects with the Mormon Church through Goldman Sachs and Appleby. The work deconstructs the systemic corruption extending beyond the confines of New York City or Salt Lake City within the format of a complex sociogram and the methodology of the system of neo-liberal capitalism which fosters an environment in which female artists are abused and silenced by the moguls who use their connections of power.
The tapestry entitled Matrices combines the original newspaper articles, slightly abstracted, that report about Maria Farmer’s experiences and the warning by a LDS Church whistleblower about a money laundering operation. Through juxtaposition, the worlds of two whistleblowers are parallel to each other despite the geographic distance. One can see that the abuse of political and financial power is universal.
Lastly, the installation entitled A Frolic of Her Own includes a sculpture of a plastic file box including all of the primary documents used within this series.This mixed-media sculpture features primary source documents printed on laser offset prints analyzing how Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual and financial corruption is connected to the money laundering operation of the LDS church utilizing offshore accounts in the Virgin Islands.
The individual elements presented within the sociogram fabric work are part of an ongoing series of Polaroid-based tapestries in the form of historical portraiture.
Thus during our tumultuous times, the American nightmare is resurrected.