What Happens After This?
Paper squeeze is a technique similar to papier-mâché in which wet paper is pressed into a surface to make an impression and copy. Nineteenth century archaeologists like Alfred Maudslay and Lottin de Laval used paper squeeze to capture the forms of the ancient world, including Mesoamerican and Assyrian inscriptions and monuments. Sometimes the squeezes were lacquered and cast in plaster and sometimes they were displayed as-is, a negative relief of the original.
What Happens After This? uses paper squeeze in order to convey the historic and monumental nature of the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020. I recreated a life-sized section of the fencing around the White House from photos and molded it into one large sheet. By creating a contemporary artifact, I wanted to portray the protests as monumental and having lasting impact, worthy of study and admiration and wonder—like the monuments that Maudslay and others copied in their times—but also to ask, what will happen after this? Will this moment lead to lasting change?