Training to Lift My Parents, 2015, Mission Hill Gallery, Boston, MA
At the age of six, Spiro was one the subject's of her father's dissertation titled “The Child through Psychological Views of Freud and Piaget”. She decided she would re-write her father's dissertation through video and make him and her mother the subjects. The elements in which Spiro would study them would be through lifting objects. Weightlifting is only a means to understanding what the gesture of lifting an object in the air, above one's head means.
Training to Lift My Parents is a video-performance where the artist has personally welded a steel barbell with specific seats for each parent. The seats are configured as throne-like puzzle pieces that can fit together side by side or on top of each other when taken off the barbell.
Weightlifting became a metaphor for something much bigger than success or empowerment, overcoming struggle or immigration or war or any personal struggle. It was about showing that everyone has something to lift in their lives. For Spiro, it is her parents. They are the “mythical giants” of her world, the ones that sacrificed their whole life to create a new one for her and her sister. Spiro is always carrying that weight and wants to one day be able to “lift them up”and live up to their legacy. She may never be able to because of everything her parents carry and hold inside them, but she will always try. That is her life goal.
Photo credit: Ryan McMahon