ID Shop operates as an intersectional liaison between art and public institutions to help homeless and immigrant youths apply for identification (ID) cards issued by the U.S. government. Since 2014, ID Shop has offered letters of proof of residency and other legal helps to the youths. This service especially aids those struggling with residential problems and gender issues via my collaboration with the Art & Law Program at Fordham University School of Law, More Art, South Asian Women's Creative Collective, the Door, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and Sylvia’s Place. ID Shop seeks to formalize relationships through contracts not only by enabling ID Shop participants to apply for identification cards but also by charting the philosophical misconception of personhood in the U.S. ID law system. The purpose of ID Shop is threefold. The first is structural: to triangulate relationships between myself (“the Artist”), nonprofits (“the Organization”), participants (“the Participants”), and individual supporters through agreements and waivers. The second is philosophical: to justify the postcolonial definition of personhood in the law based on the Arendtian phenomenological conception. In Hannah Arendt’s perspective, a legal personality is an artificial mask of law. The third is practical: to provide the opportunity for its participants to apply for ID cards by offering letters of proof of residency in cooperation with art institutions. In this part, an art institution’s address functions as textual residency: a home address on the participant’s ID cards. The art institution’s address serves as the recorded residence of the participants, exposing some of the loopholes of establishing a legal identity in the process, and reimagining how art institutions could interact with local communities. ID Shop is thus a performative platform, benefiting members of marginalized ethnic and gender groups. It re-examines the practices of hospitality: a performative act of identity; to give comfort or make welcome the stranger or foreigner, the host must act; to resettle displaced people, a host nation must act.
In 2016, ID Shop focuses more on the New York State ID since the IDNYC cannot fully function as identification issued by the federal government. (please google the REAL ID act after 9/11)
Opening up political and legal discourses in the public spheres, ID Shop produces a performative platform in which to bring dialogue about the absurdities of ascribing neutrality to legalese. By translating legal terms into political aesthetics in the context of institutional critique, ID Shop traverses the theoretical divide between art and law, integrating cross-disciplinary practice to collapse axiomatic assertions of an impenetrable, rational and impartial legal framework, in favor of an aesthetics of ambiguity and dispersed perspective.
Image: Installation view of ID Shop, welcome to what we took from is the state Exhibition, Queens Museum, New York City, 2016
Legal advice | Randi Lee
Revision | Alison Howard | Thomas Marks
Logo design | Susie Han
Special thanks to | Jonathan Gordon | Monica Jihan Bose | Sadia Shirazi | Shevaun Wright
Special thanks to my dear participants | Joseph/Jorie | Kiana | Sabrina (a.k.a.) | John | Eugene | Carlos | Shaqasha | Christisha | Terry/Jade
The project participants' ID cards and personal information are fully disclosed in the real installation setting ONLY. © Sue Jeong Ka. All copyright is reserved.
ID Shop has been funded by More Art(2015-2016), Foundation of Contemporary Art Emergency Grants (2016), Awesome Foundation (2016), the Laundromat Project (2017), and individual donors.