In the gallery: Because We Forget (2004)

ongoing tactical actions that deploy marginalized, overlooked, and forgotten ideas, narratives and objects back into public space where they can confront, question, and memorialize.”1

Finishing School, which currently includes Edward Giardina, James Rojsirivat, Joel Heflin, Brian Boyer and Jason Plapp, is an artist collective that explores contemporary social, political, and environmental issues. Conflating praxis, play, and activism, the collective seeks to engage audiences through the adoption of an array of participatory models. Founded in 2001, Finishing School’s projects range from tactical actions, interventions and social events (including mass, costumed bicycle rides), to exhibitions and the production of web and printed matter.

For Because We Forget (2004) Finishing School took to the streets with cardboard signs. Adopting a stance most often associated with people who are homeless and in need, members of the collective stood alone at freeway entrances. Utilizing their silent presence to dispense critical information and challenge perceptions about a community for whom public space is often also ‘home’, Finishing School held signs handwritten with statistical information about the number and situation of homeless veterans.

The VA estimates that more than 300,000 vets are homeless on any given night”2

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1: Finishing School website 2. Because We Forget sign, 2004