Overhead projector, transparencies, permanent markers

Artifact #2: Nylon Pool (2018) speaks to the disorientation that comes to a group of people as they anticipate the end of one of their own, where the one person who has record of all their histories is at the risk of transcendence. Artifact #2: Nylon Pool utilizes the communal nature of the word search puzzle format coupled with archival family images to reckon with the gaps in my own family’s history, particularly that held by my maternal grandmother. In our family, her role is that of the matriarch but also as a gatekeeper of our collective histories, the author and guardian of the archive. Artifact #2: Nylon Pool in part is a mechanism for intergenerational communication. Recently, rifts and migration between members of my immediate family have come to a head which has made the collective history become fractured and less accessible.

I employ the word search format to force the participant to meditate on the relationship between the words, images and their own histories. In this way, short phrases become extended interactions between the participant and the archive. The act of searching for coherent narrative in a seemingly arbitrary grid of signs and letters is an attempt to make sense of my grandmother and family using existing materials across the space and time of diaspora.

Images courtesy Zalika Azim.

Installed at To Break the Ocean curated by Zalika Azim and Marquita Flowers at AC Institute.