Each victim has a different face.
It’s a small, but vital, detail in ChadMichael Morrisette’s art installation, “No One Is Safe,” a response to Sunday’s deadly mass-shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
Morrisette spent four hours Sunday placing 50 distinct mannequins on the roof of his home near the intersection of Fountain and Fairfax avenues in West Hollywood, a visceral representation of the 50 people, the gunman among them, slain in Orlando.
“I’m not celebrating today. I’m not going to Pride,” Morrisette texted his boyfriend, after waking Sunday morning, his 36th birthday, and watching the reported death toll from the tragedy rise. “Instead, I started working.”
It took the visual artist, who also operates his own business as a brand consultant, four hours to put together the roof display, with the help of a few friends, who Morrisette called “loving enough to come and celebrate that way.”
The process was intense, even beyond the effort needed to get the mannequins in position.
“It was emotional stepping over the bodies, laying them out,” Morrisette said, each time reminded of what those on-site at the crime scene must have experienced.
The faces weren’t the only things that differentiated these mannequins from the rest in Morrisette’s collection.
While the mannequins used in Morrisette’s business are pristine, the models that found their way to his roof were flawed, not yet receiving the care needed to patch their missing eyes or fingers.
“Some have damage you can’t see from a distance. Pulling them from a pile of broken bodies, it began to make it a little bit more real,” Morrisette quietly explained. “It wasn’t beauty being represented. It was shattered and broken.”
Response to the display has been immediate and powerful. Morrisette admits hiding behind his privacy hedge to watch people’s faces as they take in the message being communicated by his work.
“People are moved. They stop and get out of their vehicles. They do U-turns. One person just bowed to me as they walked by, out of respect,” Morrisette said. “Stopped cars sit at the light and have a moment to reflect, and those are the faces I like to watch. That’s when I know I’ve actually caused someone to think about something.”
Full Story Here. Hat tip to Morgan.