transformer FlatFile Program, 2013
The loss of cultural heritage alters the landscape of our personal identities, collective memories, and histories. The recent destruction and looting of antiquities in Egypt, and in the surrounding region, is not only catastrophic for the historiography of human creativity, it is a blatantly violent act of manipulation and erasure. I have been inspired to make these collages partially as a lament, but also as a launching point into my larger CAVE installation, where the legacy of images and institutional 'validation of culture' is questioned.
Souvenir postcards purchased in museum shops, mostly representing the canon of Western art, are obscured by vernacular symbols of ancient Egypt, silhouettes of unknown persons, and cut fragments of ephemera. My hands practice their own form of defacement and reconstruction, intentionally fabricating an image of impermanence and anonymity. How do we identify with the past? What do we choose to preserve over time and for future generations? Who will remember what was lost?