Site-specific Installation (audio, video projection, digital imagery), Boley Building, Kansas City, MO

Artist Statement

This site-specific installation was created for and installed in a bank safe in the Boley Building in Kansas City, MO, in 2005. The thick and heavy metal doors symbolize protection of the financial assets held by the bank.

For this installation I juxtaposed the concepts of physical protection (imposing barriers) and emotional sense of safety (intimate contact between mother and child.) The audience members were forced to peer into the safe through the metal bars to view a vignette of a child nursing, sucking his thumb, and cuddling with mother. The video was silent, but on the opposing wall behind the viewers a baby monitor device played sounds, which alternated between cooing and comforting sounds and unexpected audio clips conveying possible harmful events in a remote location of a lone the child.

The project questions whether it is impossible to provide absolute protection no matter how valuable the asset and despite our most sophisticated technological interventions. In addition, it suggests that for humans the true sense of safety is psychological.



All images © Kati Toivanen

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