Displacement and Migration Exhibition at St. Louis Artists Guild
REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS, AND OTHER BEINGS
In a hostile world, we run away. Sometimes willingly, sometimes because there is no other choice. Either way, we always take things with us: belongings, guidance, hopes, fears, memories, unknowns… Physical or mental, whatever they may be, these accompanies weigh on us. My mixed-media textile installation “Refugees, Immigrants, and Other Beings” displays these entities and their load in bodily forms. A group of people that could be considered as refugees or immigrants, shaped by their history and possessions, sit and watch their unknown future from this terrace where once Bradley preached equality and stood against racism. This group however is not alone. They are being watched and boarded up by a group of dark “fence people”. And then there is us: the spectators. Standing and watching. We wish we could do something. We wish there was a way out for all, a happy ending. This is why there is a component of a wish tree in this scene. Numerous pieces of white cloth are tied to the fence. A philosopher once told me about the research someone did on a group of sick people. One group had people praying for them, the other did not. The group that received the prayers and knew about it showed significant signs of improvement. The wish fence emulates this theory. I hope that we can, even for a deceiving moment, step out of the passive state and extend our hopes to them and not just be spectators. I made many wishes on it already, first being that this will be only the beginning of what we do for those that need a home.
Site specific installation at Uptown Arts Center in historic People's Church