Points Words Threads ~ Conjoined Opposites
My transcultural experience of living in three different countries, my mixed parentage, mixed marriage and being part of the lives of my mixed-children have shaped the body of works on this page.
Navigating life through three regions of the globe has helped me to observe the perverse effects of social hierarchy, its product – the marginalized and the displaced. My work is about our inhumanity but also about our power to resist and affirm our humanity.
Points Words Threads I
Conjoined Opposites installation view at Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery Winthrop University, 2011. The project includes Points Words Threads I & II. This project was possible with Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant, Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
Left: Points Words Threads I; 2008; 3D installation and audio; Hand-dyed yarn, fishing line, hot glue, colored Styrofoam ball and toothpicks; dimensions variable. Right: a detail view of the hanging structures
Points Words Threads includes two separate installations. It speaks of the victims of genocide globally, but makes special reference to the ethnic cleansing of the people of Darfur.
Detail views of Points Words Threads I
Points Words Threads II
Dreaming is a collaborative multimedia installation and a part of the Point Words Threads project. This project was sponsored by Irving S. Gilmore Foundation Emerging Artist Grant through The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, MI.
This work is a recreation the original animation done for the project Points Words Threads.
The background screen, ‘the body’ is an installation by Indrani Nayar-Gall. It is composed of 20, 2×2 ft acrylic intaglio prints. The images were inspired by the aerial views of burnt villages of Darfur.
Original animation, concept and execution by Bill Davis.
Dialogs are taken from ‘Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival’ by Jen Marlowe
Direction, voice recording and script arrangement: Indrani Nayar-Gall
Recreation of animation: Triparna Roy
Editor: Bijoy Ruj
Voice collaboration: Nora Burnett, Michael Carpentier, Anamita Gall, David Gall, Ario Gunung Sena, Agus Ismoyo, Indrani Nayar-Gall, Ari Solomon, Jenna Teach Out, Sophia Woodward
Separated By ‘A’ Skin, a public interactive project, responds to the notion of intolerance, based on ‘the color of our skin’ in the new and the old world societies.
We look down on each other,
take up arms,
commit hate crimes,
based on the most superficial layer of our body
— the epidermis
Left: The fourth iteration of Separated By ‘A’ Skin at The Levine Museum of The South 2010, Site-specific Interactive Project, 2010, Dimensions Approx. 8´ X 16´ ft.
This project was a collaboration between McColl Center for Visual Art and Levine Museum of The South during my residency at the Center.
Right: A view of the public interaction of the 4th iteration of Separated By ‘A’ Skin IV Site-specific Interactive Project; Dimensions Variable, Approx. 8´ X 18´ ft. A part of a public intervention project at the General Post Office, Barbados, sponsored by National Cultural Foundation in association with National Art Gallery, Barbados for The Black Diaspora Symposium’09
Separated By ‘A’ Skin installation at the Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, 2010
Separated By ‘A’ Skin interaction at the Black Diaspora Visual Art Exhibition, Barbados General Post Office, 2009
Through The Looking Glass And Other Stories
The series Through The Looking Glass and Other Stories is a personal narrative of issues related to migration, displacement and acculturation. Many of these are constructions from my personal encounters, memories and readings. A major aspect of the work is the trauma of migration that makes one a minority, different, and faced with uncertainty in an unfamiliar landscape. Alice’s journey in Wonderland, her encounters with the strange, absurd landscape that parallels the experience of the ‘other’, has proven to be a powerful metaphor in portraying these issues for me. These experiences are referenced in my work by juxtapositions of the immediate surroundings with those of the past through the use of appropriation of the original illustration of the ‘white rabbit’ from the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, personalized drawing of Alice, maps and boundaries, blown up images of my own thumb print, simplified self-portrait usually in profile, phone receivers, decorative motifs from India and an excerpt from the Patriot Act. I construct these realities in my work by combining drawing with printmaking and using repetition, sewing, tearing, adding, cutting and overlapping. I have been using printmaking as the primary vehicle in portrayal of these ideas.
Migration forces one to be the ‘Other’. The various forces that the immigrant faces throw her-him into a vortex that shifts and alters the body-mind view of self and others around. Acculturation and hybridity are perhaps the two most inevitable results of this dynamic.
The stories of migration are about the re-constructions, bits and pieces kept from the past – part concrete real object, part memory. It is about the construction of a new identity that has gone through the vortex of opposing forces, which has pulled, shifted and altered a ‘whole’ into a hybrid whole.