Failure Of The American Dream is based on the performative character of Phil America living as a homeless American in ‘The Jungle’; the country’s largest homeless encampment. He seeks to bring the reality of American poverty to light, while showing the human side of an issue that is frequently sensationalized or ignored by Western Culture. Through this exploration he is looking to find the strength and beauty that pervades in the lives of this community and expose their ability to overcome adversity. The popularly understood ideology of The American Dream dictates that each American may attain the financial and social status that will make them happy. Homelessness and the tent city are the anti-dream. These people are creating autonomous housing on their own terms while putting the dream behind them and focusing on the now. They were each promised something by their parents, their teachers, and their government. They have been denied access to this promise, now their main focus is survival.
This project is an exploration of Third World America, and the many left struggling with the daily nightmare of survival while getting lost in the promises of their country.
The work was shown with a multi-channel video installation projected across one wall of the expansive West Hampstead Clockwork Factory gallery. The video was accompanied by a sculptural installation of the tent and belongings used during a month of living in The Jungle. All photos are screenshots taken from the video.