I’m so honored to have been asked to show Shadowboxing just in time for the Seattle Art Fair. Woot!
The High Wall at Inscape is such an amazing program, and I couldn’t be more excited to have my animation paired with Amir Sheikh’s new film.
The outdoor projections have been visible after dark since August 1st, and tomorrow we will have a sunset reception with the two films, plus music, and a cash bar. There’s a suggested donation of $10 to raise funds for Shunpike’s ACES: Artists of Color Symposium, which is the absolute most amazing program. It was completely transformational for the community to be able to come together and stand witness to each other’s talents and stories. I have never experienced anything quite like it. So if you can support ACES, please do.
That said, you can get in for free with the code “High Wall 2019” is the $10 sets you back too much, because we all want for these programs to be accessible to everyone. oxox
For those of you who can’t come, here is a copy of the print interview that will be available at the reception. I get preachy, but you know, I’m not anything if not earnest and passionate. I discuss Trump’s election, deracination, what it means to be a LatinX in the PNW, and give insights to my process and animation set up.
I thought I was done with the Migrations series, of wrestling with the Hanged Man archetype, but it seems like I am not. This week I learned that I didn’t get the funding for a project which merges the symbolism of borders, disenfranchisement, and political punishment with that of the archetype of the Union of Opposites, or the Lovers.
That’s okay. I’ll keep knocking til they let me in.
In conversation with a student this past week over identity politics, the vulnerabilities we face when traveling abroad as an American and coming back home as a person of color…what scrutinies do we face in our privilege on the one hand, and our disenfranchisement on the other?
To what extent are we our social status and history, are we our biology? The young artist I was speaking to wants to visit his ancestral home of Iran. Like me, he has fair skin and dark hair. Those that are bent on projecting the racial binarism of the USA onto all others would call him white. As they have me on occasion.
They don’t care that my family was kicked out of a restaurant because “No dogs, no Cubans, no N-word allowed.” Or the times I was told to swim home. Or the times I have been yelled at to speak English or American when I’ve been on the phone speaking Spanish. OrÂ how my bank of over 25 years called to ask me if I was an American citizen shortly after Trump was elected president. I’m not the only one either!
Were they hoping they could report me to ICE and seize my accounts and property? I know Trump lost the popular vote, but not by a statistically significant majority. With a couple of neighbors that flaunt Confederacy flags I would have to be Pollyannaish to feel like my citizenship insulates me. It didn’t insulate Japanese-Americans during WWII. Even those born here.
It’s part of the reason why deracinating the Latinx body is a micro-aggressive act that feels like my very bones are being beaten out of my skin. What’s purpose anyway? There’s no triage for our hurt, our disenfranchisement, for the systemic exclusions of entrenched racisms? Everyone bleeds from deep cuts.
Identity and embodiment go hand in hand. And embodiment is serious business.
This young artist, he thinks that being an American citizen will insulate him from political malice when he travels abroad. I don’t think Trump would blink if something were to happen to him.
He was born here…but he’s a hyphen. Couldn’t we all write a whole tome about what that means?!
The questions of individual-social, or biology-identity are complex. Such rich territory for phenomenological and creative exploration…in any media, in any discipline! And it all begins with our embodiment.
I can’t for the life of me understand academics and artists who think figuration is somehow a lesser creative endeavor. They must have taken the biggest gulp of Cartesian Cool-aid!