Three rows of plastic emergency water bags against a blue background.

Constance Hockaday

Affiliate, 2017
Artist in Residence, 2016

A portrait of a person against a light background.

Artist Statement

My work is about creating portals that get people closer to the water/nature and closer to that feeling of belonging in a place (preferably the place where they live). I have most often looked to the water as place for hosting social sculptures and immersive experiences. The shoreline is a place where many human and non-human interests collide. It is an inbetween space, a place that requires negotiation, which is why I like to use the shoreline to bring attention to cultural phenomena happening on land. Sometimes I make floating installations and performances that highlight the loss of cultural space on land (a la gentrification or the affects of general systemic violence). Sometimes I create visual art and installations that help me understand the social psychology and democracy of our time. More broadly though, I am interested in understanding how we can better negotiate space. I am interested in collective responses to disaster and the future. I was raised in South Texas, 5 miles from where the Rio Grande River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico. My marine biologist father taught me how to survive in our landscape. For this I am infinitely grateful. In a sense, most of my work is trying to re-create the kind of experiential education he provided me; it is a meditative labor, a practice in hope, and most importantly about an embodiment of the experience of possibility.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I will be working on two projects. The first is a continuation of my Survival Series. In the summer of 2016 I began researching American ideas of disaster and the future from inside the 944 building at the Headlands—inside a room where soldiers slept as they waited to be shipped out to World War I and II. The historical architecture of the Headlands provides me with context and a daily reminder of the history that informs some of our most intimate ideas of what is and is not possible in this life. I will create sculpture, writing, and performances exploring the history of what we conceptualize as the future. My second task over the next year at Headlands is to prepare for a floating social club/social sculpture set to take place aboard President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s retired presidential Yacht, the USS POTOMAC. This project will premiere in summer 2018 and will involve dozens of artists and cultural figures from the Bay Area. More to come on this soon!

Selected Video

Documentation of You Make a Better Wall Than a Window: The Tour by Constance Hockaday.