The past ten years have marked several changes in my life – most significantly, entering marriage and parenthood. The more recent change occurred when my wife accepted a position at Hamilton - I joined the growing ranks of the “Stay-at-Home” Dads, and returned to school.
I see this shift in my personal life as an echo of a larger one going on in society. With regards to the historically gendered roles performed, we are in the midst of a transition in the framework of the nuclear family. Hanah Rosin wrote a particularly enlightening piece related to this in The Atlantic, titled “The End Of Men.” She points out that 2010 marked the first year that women outnumbered men in the nation’s workforce, and produces a convincing argument for the future holding a challenge to defining our society as patriarchal. The resulting change in our identities, shaped by generations of gendered history, is what I am exploring in work like Title. Considering “the game had changed,” I did a little research on the history of chess. It seems the queen was adopted to the game - replacing a spiritual advisor of sorts. Initially, her mobility and power were severely limited, but over the years the queen has evolved to become the most powerful piece on the board. This led me to Keep.
I’m optimistic that this reversal of roles is positive - that it will garner a more sympathetic understanding of each other and the roles that we have traditionally played, that it will ultimately lead to a more harmonious relationship in family life. This idea of balance is one that threads through all of my work. Its evidence in beautifully sung harmony and graceful dance, when two work with purpose as equal partners, is the inspiration for Mate.