Two Girls Working
Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki
The women presented in this work include Uruj Sheikh, interviewed in August 2004, Jersey City, NJ; Tasseli McKay, interviewed in April 2002, Durham, NC; Kathleen Cadelina-Elgarico McElroy, interviewed in August 2004, Jersey City, NJ; and Marilyn M. Cuneo, interviewed in April 2004, Minneapolis, MN.
Two Girls Working, the collaborative team of artists Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki, was formed to position ourselves as assets to civic action and dialogue. Our current project, “Trappings”, activates discourse about the complicated landscape of power and its relationship to personal identity by asking women to respond to the question: what do you wear that makes you feel powerful?
“Trappings” has initiated a range of responses: simple descriptions of an outfit’s comfort and practicality as a tool for power, complex analysis of an individual’s movement through class and social strata, the use of sex as strategy in business and social settings, and the use of clothing as a way to connect with cultural or personal history as power sources. Through the interview sessions and exhibitions, Trappings has allowed participants and viewers to investigate their own assumptions based on appearance and image.
“Trappings” is about working in the public domain. The infrastructure for the project, the “Trappings” interview session, has been formulated to create alternative art spaces of the artists’ design: women’s living rooms, churches, boardrooms, classrooms, and community spaces. Our interview strategy has allowed us to meet with a range of participants to present a full picture of how, at this current moment, women across the U.S. are relating to power.
Through “Trappings” we take risks by: not preaching to the converted; not being a vehicle that merely presents our own viewpoints about feminism and power; being responsive and not illustrative; being committed to reaching out to new audiences and voices; and blurring the lines of art, activism, public art, advocacy, communication, and networking.
Since 2001, we have interviewed over 280 women from across the United States. Sessions have taken place in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Montana.
Two Girls Working is the collaboration of artists Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki. Since January 2001, they have produced the project “Trappings”, a national multi-media public art and performance project that explores the complicated landscape of power and its relationship to personal identity. To date they have interviewed over 280 women at 38 interview sessions from across the USA. They have developed exhibitions for the Jersey City Museum, the Durham Arts Council, and the Longwood Arts Center at the Bronx Council for the Arts. Their 2005 exhibition schedule includes a public art installation in Pittsburgh, the Centennial Complex Gallery at the University of Wyoming, Yaknapatawpha Arts Council in Oxford, MS and the Nashville International Airport in Tennessee. They have received funding through the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s 2004 Artists and Communities grant program, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ PA Partners in the Arts grant program, and the Orange County Arts Council’s Artist’s Project Grant.
Tiffany Ludwig is an artist and media consultant based in Jersey City, NJ. She works in a variety of media including film, video, performance, and photography. Her artwork has been shown around the U.S. Additionally, she specializes in multi-media consulting for a wide range of clients, from fashion industry publications to engineers to art organizations. Renee Piechocki is an artist and public art consultant based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her studio work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Taller Boricua Gallery in NYC and the Durham Art Guild in Durham. She has been working in public art as an administrator and consultant since 1994, holding positions at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Public Art Network of Americans for the Arts, and has developed public art programs across North Carolina.