My collaborative project "What Is Your Name?" is included in the virtual group exhibition "Mother Tongue" by The Immigrant Artist Biennial 2020.
Co-Curators: Mary Annunziata, Allison Cannella, Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, Katya Grokhovsky
Artists: Ferguson Amo, Mahsa Biglow, Sera Boeno, Carolina Casusol, Cecile Chong, Furen Dai, Priyanka Dasgupta & Chad Marshall, Priscilla Dobler Dzul, Matilda Forsberg, Nina Ghanbarzadeh (Afkhamian), Yikui (Coy) Gu, Luma Jasim, Tiri Kananuruk, Marina Kassianidou, Cecilia Kim, Marina Leybishkis, Stefana McClure, Rodrigo Moreira, Renana Neuman, Sari Nordman, Kasia Ozga, Dafna Rehavia, Katreen Sorokina, Tereza Swanda, Johanna Strobel, Hui-Ying Tsai, Tansy Xiao, Haksul Lee & Natsuki Takauji, Tao Wei
Performance projects: Kevin Quiles Bonilla, Marcela Casals, Salomé Egas, Bianca Falco, Georgia Lale, Silkworm Pupas (Jiaoyang Li & JinJin Xu), Jorge Rojas, María Verónica San Martín
As bell hooks writes, “like desire, language disrupts, refuses to be constrained within boundaries. It speaks itself against our will, in words and thoughts that intrude, even violate the most private spaces of mind and body.” Speaking, reading, and writing in one’s mother tongue can provide comfort and community, a sense of belonging in a foreign land. Using the mother tongue to revive folklore and oral storytelling is also a way to honor family and heritage. In the public sphere, however, governments and institutions employ language to reduce, reject, and undermine marginalized populations. In the cultural field, language-based artworks, protest signs, and community organizing serve as powerful tools to call out injustices. Technology increasingly facilitates our use of language, allowing us to communicate with the stroke of a finger, but also interferes with the subtle nuances of oral and physical language. The selected artists in Mother Tongue, chosen from a diverse pool of open call applications received from immigrant artists across the U.S., present a visual lexicon of language marked by translation, assimilation, and belonging. Their works chart the influence of imperialism, migration, and time.
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