The average American owes $ 37,000 in student loan debt. Art installation at Mass MoCA visually breaks it down into $ 40 bowls | Arts-theater

NORTH ADAMS – A new facility in Mass MoCA, tackles the problem of US student debt – a burden of $ 1.7 trillion shared by 44 million Americans – by dividing the average individual burden of $ 37,000 into a tangible and visual presentation – 900 bowls each $ 40 of pocket change.

Artist Kelli Rae Adams designed each of the wheeled vessels for “Forever In Your Debt,” which opened Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, to hold $ 40, the value she attributes to the work. incorporated into each ship as a means of making the link between the cost of her own education and the skills she has acquired, while drawing attention to what is often a significant gap between the costs of l education and earning potential.

Adams offers viewers the chance to directly engage with the work – and the problem – by inviting them to fill a bowl with their own collected coins. In return, the artist will send one of the bowls to each participant at the end of the project.

The red interior of the bowls – a reference to “being in the red” or owing more money than it’s earned – is gradually obscured by the coins donated, reflecting the gradual erasure of student loan debt.

With its participatory dimension, Adams asserts that the burden of student debt and its ramifications impact all Americans. This sentiment is shared by the many lawmakers and activists who ask for some forgiveness and see the forms of economic inequality perpetuated by the lending system, with first generation students, as well as black and Latin borrowers, among these. who struggle the most.

To participate in the project with a change contribution, send an email to [email protected]


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