"...“Bindle,” the Yiddish word for bundle. Wasserman pieced it together out of scraps of recovered women and children’s clothing, stained, distressed, their personal histories unknown. Wasserman’s quilt emphasizes the very topical plight of women and children as they search for sanctuary and a new home with very few belongings, except, perhaps, for this merest of coverings, if even that..." Lilly Wei, NYC curator and critic

No Longer Your Chica is an intervention and interactive experience intended to raise awareness of the distribution of Chica Cards* on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Dressed in an elaborate "Chica"
costume which challenges stereotypical female sexuality, Deborah Wasserman distributed her own version of the card, with a functioning phone number to call, to passersby. When people call the phone number, they come across a voice mail with a recording of a woman’s voice, sharing her story of being a “Chica”.

• Notorious for their lurid, sexual imagery, "Chica Cards" are postcard-sized printed advertisements (designed to mimic collectible trading cards) whose distribution, though illegal, persists. The cards provide a number that potential customers can call to order a desirable 'Chica’ (the Spanish word for a girl or young female) for delivery to their home.

The Morphing Woman, Or, How To Explain Myself To A Sculpture Is a site-specific performance conceived for Socrates Sculpture Park by artist Deborah Wasserman. While our society has historically and culturally positioned the female body as a site of adoration and the male gaze, Wasserman’s performance aims to release its projected, idle and muted passivity into a fluid, ‘active and creative power’, endowed with a ‘voice’, and a gaze, while still referencing it as a ‘sculpture’.

Moving, crawling stretching and standing still around the park’s site from inside a stretchy, mesh fabric, wearing a bodysuit, Wasserman looks to balance and position her body made silhouettes and shapes against the landscape/horizon line, wired to a pre-recorded soundtrack.  Employing words and language/s to respond, in a spontaneous and creative manner to the site and the sculptures on display, she aims to encourage audiences to experience art, poking fun at certain types of art jargon while continuing to embrace the creative process through their bodies.

A photography series in collaboration with Shlomit Yaron, dancer and Eldad Rafaeli, photographer

Wander Woman and a Bindle (bundle, quilt, made out of distressed and stained women and children's clothing).  Wasserman uses the Bindle in numerous ways, as an “artifact,” an object to be hung, and as a “document and a prop” to be included in her performances. Not only an essential possession, but it can also be bundled, used as a carrier of possessions, as nomadic peoples have done since time immemorial. It is also a micro-shelter, an intimate primal tent to be wrapped in, like swaddling cloths. Wasserman compares her quilt to the “security” blanket of a child and as such, a psychological “transitional object” that represents the mother, signaling comfort, safety, and love. " Lilly Wei, NYC curator, and critic

Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC, May 2016

Deborah Wasserman’s performance, HEAVY LOAD, spins the drudgery of everyday laundry as a metaphor for women’s role in today’s patriarchal society. Highlighting the otherwise invisible labor of mothers, caretakers, and domestic help, which bears the brunt of society’s mud, her performance raises questions about class, labor, gender, modernity, and privilege.

Wasserman speaks about the process of washing away stained and distressed fabrics not only as a physical task but also as a cleansing ritual, discharging one’s feelings of being ‘stained’. Exposing dirty laundry to light brings out feelings of shame and guilt which are often hidden and folded away. The artist seeks to point to the transformational power of women, who often bring compassion to their work and in doing so, cultivate a more humanitarian society. Taking the idea of hard work to an extreme, and referencing cultures where laundry is washed by hand, the artist will challenge her physical endurance by carrying heavy bags of soiled clothing, lugging water back forth and scrubbing piles of garments and house linens. Utilizing the geography of Socrates Park to create a site-specific performance, the artist
performs a cycle of washing, drying, and folding. The washed clothes are spread on the grass and in trees to dry naturally in the sun. The cycle repeats in another location of the park, a four-hour slice of the eternal cleaning that is part of women's motherly and domestic duties throughout the world.

“In her performance, Hospitality, artist Deborah Wasserman invites guests into her Dwelling and offers them tea and hospitality. While her Dwelling is purposely humble, transitory looking and make
shift, she nevertheless seeks to create an expansive, communal experience instigated by the sheer act of sharing one’s space with others.

Wasserman’s performance also aims to shift the traditional, subservient, and often limiting feminine role of servitude into a powerful position where a woman hosts, instigates and is completely in charge of her physical body and space...

Performed in Queens, the most diverse zip code in the USA, Hospitality examines our deep-rooted fears and attitudes in welcoming others, strangers and foreigners...”

Public art intervention, Corona Plaza and Diversity Plaza, Queens, NYC, 2016

Deborah Wasserman’s performance Dumped: Mother Earth/Queen of Trash, aspires to bring awareness and understanding of the importance of environmental issues to everyone in the context of our busy and demanding lives in a contemporary urban setting. In a continuation of her performance art, Wasserman laments society’s increasing disregard of Mother Earth-- the feminine, nurturing principal in nature. The Earth was once revered and worshipped by many cultures and societies around the world. The adoration of the Earth deities-- Isis, Demeter, Gaia, Durga, Frigga, Danu, to name a few- may be considered ‘primitive’ but that reverence, according to Wasserman, was rooted in understanding the importance of the feminine mother element in nature despite the advances of our industrial society.  Living in the fast post- industrial, capitalistic society of today we seem to have lost our understanding of the importance of “Mother Earth”. In her performance Deborah impersonates the fallen Mother Earth, wearing an 18ft trash cape unto which pedestrians were attaching additional garbage. She was engaging in conversation with passers-by, sorting and collecting garbage and giving away free earth and seeds of hope from her dumpster.

Quoting Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia and an environmentalist:

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans”.

Entering motherhood about nine years ago, I started thinking about ways in which I can incorporate the experience of motherhood into my artwork. I am fascinated by the ideas of mapping, journey, travel, and the passage of time and often utilize suitcases, images of airports, photos of tourists and landscapes to invoke the narrative of travel.

I have been collecting my girl’s shoes since they were born. The shoes ‘track’ the growth of my children (ages 0-9) and they also connote walking, a movement forward. The shoes represent the journey (in time and space) that my children are taking, as they continually grow and mature. They also represent my own journey as a mother, the witness who documents, accompanies, and marvels in their journey.


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