I’m American (Happy 4th Edition) is an attempt to question the notion of nationalism and patriotism in relation to one’s psychological and emotional state through spoken language. On July 4th, 2013, using the fireworks as a backdrop, Joanna Tam repeatedly said “I’m American” for the whole duration of the Independence Day fireworks celebration in Kingston, NY. While performing her action, some people who were originally there to watch the fireworks started to interact with her. A young man shouted “You are not” at her multiple times. A woman came up to Tam, put a glow necklace around her neck and gave her a hug. Some people stood next to her and said “I’m American” with her in front of the camera.
About the Artist
Joanna Tam is a Boston-based visual artist. Her interdisciplinary practice examines the issues of standardization, displacement and the construction of ethnic and national identities. Joanna’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her projects have been awarded the Best Art Film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK (2012), the People’s Choice Award (Sub-Category) and the Third Prize (Sub-Category) at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (2009). Joanna was a resident artist at the Center for Photography at Woodstock and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She holds an MFA degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / Tufts University.
I’m American (Happy 4th Edition) was made possible in part through the support from the Center for Photography at Woodstock.