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Wander, Woman

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Collaboration with performer Shlomit Yaron and photographer Eldad Rafaeli, Israel, 2019

"Wasserman uses the Bindle (bundle, quilt, made out of distressed and stained women and children's clothing) 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 cloth. 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, curator, writer and critic

The Bindle


Queens, NY, 2018

Photo credit David Ashford

“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, curator, writer and art critic


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Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NY, 2018

Photo credit David Ashford and Francena Ottley

“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...”

The Morphing Woman


Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY, 2017

Photo credit David Ashford

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 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.

Heavy Load


Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY, 2017

Photo credit David Ashford

Deborah Wasserman’s performance, Heavy Load, spins the drudgery of everyday laundry as a metaphor for women’s role in today’s 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’.

Utilizing the geography of Socrates Park to create a site-specific performance, the artist performs a cycle of washing, drying, and folding. The cycle repeats, a four-hour slice of the eternal cleaning that is part of women's motherly and domestic duties throughout the world.

Dumped: Mother Earth, Queen of Trash


Corona Plaza and Diversity Plaza, Queens, NY, 2016

Photo credit David Ashford

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.

Wasserman laments society’s increasing disregard of Mother Earth-the feminine, nurturing principle in nature. The Earth was once revered and worshipped by many cultures and societies around the world. 


In her performance Wasserman 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.

No Longer Your Chica


Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NY 2015

Photo credit Francena Ottley

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 Longest Journey

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140 pairs of girls shoes in a public park, Travers Park, Queens, NY 2014

Photo credit Deborah Wasserman and Phil Ballman

​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 girls' 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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