Independant Study 1: Studio Work

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Summative Assessment Day.

Reflective Statement

This collection of work considers being decoupled from a homeland and the experience of dispersal that a subsequent journey of migration can bring. A reflection of an individual state of being and a sense of rootlessness and longing, indicates a sub-conscious social-political element relating to the subject of Diaspora.

Influenced by the work of Mona Hatoum and Emily Jacir, this considers a life lived away from a homeland. Relevance to migration is apparent, and comparisons can be made to these social-political issues.

“Once I made the work I found that it spoke of the complexities of exile, displacement, the sense of loss and separation caused by war. In other words, it contextualized the image or this person, “my mother” within a social-political context.”

Mona Hatoum speaking about her film Measures of Distance in the interview with Janine Antoni for Bomb magazine.

An outsider was symbolized using a chair covered with fragments of road maps. This juxtaposed that sense of rootedness with rootlessness and in-betweenness.  It was taken on a migratory journey between a host country and a homeland. Ultimately, being cut in two to constitute two parts and divided roots. This journey was then recorded using photography and film.

The two photographs Lost and Hope suggest that sense of feeling lost, not belonging, yet hopeful of a brighter future. Betwixt alludes to that in-between stage experienced during dispersal from a community. Linger shows our traveller waiting to hitch a ride to the next point in his journey.  Anabasis emulates a moment to wait at a bus stop and reflect before the journey continues. Pausation refers to a moment where rest was taken and a panorama found to contemplate.

The film, Outsider is displayed in a triptych. The symbolic chair travelling on top of the car through a homeland is shown on the left. The central clip demonstrates the outsider represented as part of a migrating community.  He becomes increasingly alone as his journey continues, shown on the right.

In the background, a protest against migration continues as a sub-conscious reference to the aforementioned social-political issues.

Drawing on the work of John Akomfrah, the outsider navigates a seemingly anonymous landscape, lost and isolated with his thoughts and his memories. His suitcase is empty indicating the feeling of loss and emptiness for a life once lead.

The anonymity of the landscape subverts the perception and suggests that this journey could be anywhere. An unidentified location bearing relevance to many that alludes to the fact that stories of migration like this are commonplace.

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