Somewhere above the Earth and beneath God (I Found home.) 2022
During a trip recent back home, I spent a considerable amount of time in the places I had found my inspiration and began to take note of the intricate ways in my grandmothers' homes were adorned and kept. I began questioning what home meant for me and if the concept of home, or safety, or comfort, was an option for me. These places, like the albums themselves, act as archives in their own right. Through this understanding, I began to make correlations between the home and the body and came to understand the two as inseparable. Through the understanding of the home and the body as repositories of information, I began shifting my work away from the singular image/object and towards an installation-based practice.
“Worldmaking as we know it always starts from worlds already on hand; the making is remaking” Nelson Goodman explains worldmaking as a practice that is citation-based. Goodman's understanding of worldmaking was built off of Earnst Cassier's theory of the multiplicity of worlds: within our one world, many other worlds exist and without the whole of the sum, none of them would exist as we know it. This understanding of our world as a conglomerate of many worlds, each as real and as possible as the next, provided me with the language to understand the way I wanted my installation work to engage with the world. By transforming the space to better suit the work, I’d be engaging in a practice of homemaking like that of my grandmothers. The results are the revealing of the self-reflective nature of the home and its ability to reveal its inhabitants to themselves. This led me to begin thinking outside of the frame of the camera and more deliberately about the installation of my work and how the complete transformation of this space would be the final product. Through this approach, I connect the home and the body through the immersion of the viewer in a space that is made entirely in the image of myself and my grandmothers.
I realized that my infatuation with citation was charged by my impulse to create space for my desires and that inherently, my wants are extensions of that of my grandmothers. It then made sense to build a world where the aesthetics and semiotics I associated with their spaces found their way into my work. With this understanding of my work, I began taking cues from their ways of homemaking and began to relate this practice to my desires for visibility and self-care as it pertained to my body. One of the results of this realization is Les Fleur, a digital collage turned wallpaper I created to act as a backdrop for other works to exist. The wallpaper ambiguously weaves together a vast number of white magnolias alongside my outstretched body repeating on a white plane. The magnolia, a symbol of the locations I've called home, and my body weave together in a manner that renders them inseparable. The dynamic arrangement of these objects on this flat plane somewhat obscures them, only rendering them visible when engaged closely. The obscurity of my body within the composition acts as a reference to the way the Black body both within and outside of the archive is simultaneously hypervisible and invisible.