Cassandra Keho: Without Rest

Installation Title: Without Rest

Photographed on Sunday, May 1, 2022, 7:25 a.m. (of note: Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays)

“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 856 (1992). (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. 682 (2014).

Photographed on Sunday, May 1, 2022, 7:25 a.m. (of note: Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays)

The installation speaks to the tireless work behind the scenes: the ripping, tearing down, and gutting of women’s reproductive rights. 

An ominous pickaxe sits atop the pile, as a weathered and cruel reflection of the work entailed in demolishing women’s reproductive rights. The piece is an intersectional evaluation of the confluence of legislative attacks on reproductive rights, religious exemptions and the dark money that runs between. 

Justice Ginsburg’s dissent from Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (where the court’s majority held that employers could utilize religious exemptions to deny women contraceptive coverage) is represented through a dissent collar, comprised of found and created items to represent contraceptive options denied by Hobby Lobby (daily birth control pills (made of expired aspirin tablets), IUDs (hand molded from clay and wire), Plan B tablets (expired dog vitamins), and the NuvaRing (upcycled tubing and chain)). The foil (meant to convey packaging of birth control daily pill packaging) is the bright spot in the photo, representing Ginsburg’s ceaseless spirit: holding the line and fighting for equality for women. 

The creation of the Hobby Lobby dissent collar and Without Rest instillation is this artist’s alarm at the erosion of reproductive rights we see today, ranging from SB8 legislations out of Texas, to similar copycat pieces of legislation appearing in other states (visually showcased here: Texas, Idaho, Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Wyoming, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia). 

And on the near horizon, Roe v. Wade awaits. 

Cassandra Kehoe is an artist and attorney and explores the intersection of art and activism through her work.

Instagram: @cassandra.kehoe

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