Edward Schexnayder’s Homeland is a feat of manipulation that has been constructed to simultaneously engage and alienate the viewer. Situated close to the park’s entrance, Homeland is a wall of alternating one-way and two-way mirrors that slices a simple picnic table in half. The wall limits viewing and movement from one side the table to the other, intentionally disorienting and frustrating the viewer.
By offering and then retracting “a seat at the table,” Schexnayder’s Homeland highlights the importance of position and privilege in defining one’s perspective. Situated in Queens, New York, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States, Homeland confronts the implications inherent in such an experience and is especially well positioned to examine persistent dichotomies of inclusion and alienation, insider and outsider, and transparency and obfuscation.