Thursday, December 04, 2008

Can you know a place by drawing it?

There are shoes between us

I recently started a series entitled ‘drawing the return’ through which I am exploring the question: “Can you know a place by drawing it?” I am specifically looking at my relationship to Nigeria. The series begins with the piece ‘There are shoes between us.’ The drawing is based on a pair of shoes I made for one of my first performance pieces over 10 years ago. They are leather, covered in white clay, modeled after a pair of Hausa shoes.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the ‘when’ of memory. About timing and recurrence. And that necessary moment of recollection. In 1998 I created this performance piece in which I wrapped myself in a raised structure of branches. I wore a mask with long flowing threads during the 2 days of the performance. When I was outside of the structure I wore hand-dyed blue clothing created specifically for the piece. And the Hausa shoes, which perhaps had been hand-made in a very similar manner hundreds of years ago by my own ancestors.

And so the return…

Lagos Island, Nigeria

There's a city between us

Try these

There are birds between us

How deep did you say this is?

How deep did you say this is? (detail)

We hid our birds