January 26, 2021 - February 26, 2021
Alice R. Rogers Gallery & Target Gallery, SJU
S WORD and LETTER TO BABA are companion works which probe the power and efficacy of words and guns in a world consigned to both. S WORD draws from our deep history with the written word and tools of war and presents both as weaponized figures on paper scrolls. LETTER TO BABA is a video work seen as both documentary and diary, at once profoundly personal, yet speaking to universal truth and fear.
In the beginning was word and sword, one begetting the other.
In opposition they appear as in a duel, but as equals on the scroll they are co-conspirators in conflict and resolution, and conflict again, bearing witness one to the other. Fearful weapons borne by warriors of hope, scrolls of law and banners of war, unfurling, time and again.
Blood and ink spill to the same ground.
Yet with the scroll there is no page to turn, no past to move beyond. What gets recorded, reminded, and what fades away into shadows and scars, becomes the ghost of the future. Can we learn to linger in the space between the bleed lines, or breathe life into the rift and wreckage left behind and waiting ahead?
LETTER TO BABA
In this beginning is a word, daughter to father. “Baba?”
It is a simple inquiry, a request for presence and assurance in troubled times. Nothing is written. There is no paper, no pen, nor gun nor sword, just a word, spoken plainly, if not plaintively, of one seeking wisdom and insight from the past in order to illuminate what is now, in full measure, the nearness to war.
The tender voice tinged with curiosity, fear and resignation, probes histories, close at hand and universal, for shards of truth in a world fractured and tilted badly off axis.