Jennifer Karady

Dissonance, an immersive multi-channel video and sound installation, will reveal the disconnect between the public visual display of patriotism on the Fourth of July and the way that soldiers privately experience this holiday. Since 2006, Karady has collaborated with veterans, and this project is inspired by the numerous stories veterans told her about reacting to or avoiding the sounds of fireworks because they are similar to the dangerous sounds of war.

The spectacle of patriotic imagery on five screens, featuring mesmerizing video of fireworks, will contrast with the intimacy and vulnerability of veterans describing how they experience fireworks—with fear, apprehension, and avoidance. The sound component of the installation, consisting largely of the human voice, explores the language of trauma by highlighting similarities and patterns in the words that veterans use to speak about this phenomenon. The voices, each given a bodily presence through their own speaker, will relate to, react and answer each other. At points, the voices will come together in harmony, diverge or create duets, but by the end, each voice will contribute to a shared, unconventional narrative. The video installation further articulates the discontinuity of the world for people who have experienced trauma, and how innocent displays of patriotism can be imbued with violence and memory.