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The Hearing RoCoCo "The Hearing" (detail) 2017, collaborative media installation (Photo by artists)

The installation The Hearing by RoCoCo was created with a clear acknowledgement of recent events in American politics, journalism, and culture. The work considers the operative root word "hear" and questions whether its definition still holds true for the systems that bind these facets of American society. Is there an action of hearing taking place, or has it been co-opted and twisted so that the system is more about silencing and obscuring fact, ethics, and even morals? RoCoCo has carefully considered the space the installation inhabits and has postured materials to evoke and meld symbolic, cultural, and utilitarian context. Under the skylight in the middle of the gallery of Mercury 20, they have transformed every day comforting objects such as pillowcases and blankets, and subjected them to industrial processes that call upon the literal and symbolic meanings of the objects. Metaphor, commentary, and a nod to conspiracy theories are all taken into consideration in the placement of the installation's parts. Invoking sleep, hollowness, and smothering, pillowcases embellished with the word JUSTICE hover over cut pieces of blankets. These pieces have been incised with a laser, and the cutouts are in the shape of letters that spell out the phonetic sound of being silenced. Their massing takes the form of a grand landscape of SHHH.