Monica M Moses Haller
As an artist, I work in a range of media spanning photography, video, sound, design, installation and writing. I collaborate long term with individuals and small groups of people. As artist, my role changes depending on the particular collaboration and the work I want to achieve within it. For example, in some projects I make images meant for the gallery. Other times I don’t make pictures at all, but instead act as an editor and facilitator. By sustaining long term interactions and flexible roles, my collaborators and I try to be thorough in our inquiries together. I tend to focus on personal details to address large systems that are political, psychological and environmental. My academic background is in Peace and Conflict Studies (the study of philosophies of violence and non-violence). In practice, I worked with people trying to make transitions from violent situations, to less violent situations. I did this nationally and locally. For example, I learned and worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa during their reparations phase. I worked with survivors of domestic violence in Minneapolis. Over my lifetime, I work within my own family to understand how race has been used and constructed across generations and geographies for us. I came to Art as a discipline because I saw it as a place where I could undertake more philosophical and critically rigorous inquiries about the situations in which my collaborators and I found ourselves. My collaborative work includes “Riley and his story” and the “Veterans Book Project,” both offering multi-layered narratives of the U.S.-led wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan. My most recent work brings me to the eroding wetlands of the Louisiana coast in Plaquemines Parish, land that has been in my family for six generations. This work explores philosophies of ownership, the social construction of race, environmental racism, and productive possibilities of this wetland’s terrain.