Language is the driving force behind my work. I am interested in the intersection of the body, word, and object as a means of gaining deeper insight into how we communicate with each other—how we formulate identity (or hide it)—as well as to how language's inherent blind spots affect our sense of collective consciousness. I explore these concepts through site-specific installation, performance, sculpture and digital collage. Emphasizing the glitch or rupture, I use these media to obfuscate, reveal, and choreograph the ways in which viewers encounter physical and psychic space: to question our understanding of linguistic and cultural inheritance.Want to contact? email me firstname.lastname@example.org
The term desire line is defined in landscape architecture as, “an unplanned route or path (such as one worn into a grassy surface by repeated foot traffic) that is used by pedestrians in preference to or in the absence of a designated alternative (such as a paved pathway).” It represents the shortest distance between two points, those points, in turn, representative of the end goal of desire – a desire to enter into and/or engage with a specific location in space. The liminal space of the path, on the other hand, its mere physical countenance, constitutes a tangible visual metaphor for the process of waiting: the in-between of being where one is neither “here” nor “there.” This term can be applied to the pathways worn in the natural landscape but just as easily to urban architecture and its monuments of preservation – sites that have been abandoned, are in the throes of decay, demolition, or perpetually for sale, as well as those institutions which aim to “preserve” the collective memory of a culture.
In Mexico City, one sees these buildings everywhere. They line the ‘calles’ of the wealthiest ‘colonias’ as equally as the most poverty-ridden ‘barrios.’ Rich in color and design, they hint at a former glory now long forgotten. Graffiti covers their broken windows and patched doors, imbuing the facades with an additional layer of vibrance (or decay). The institutions that house their former contents and collections entomb these objects’ power behind plexiglass and concrete, a reference to all that was now coded within the language of stylized abstraction. Memory is not preserved in these spaces but stifled, hidden, corrupted by the ornament and distance of curatorial display.
There is a street art movement in Latin America that goes by the name, Acción Poética. Begun in 1996 by the Mexican poet Armando Alanis Pulido in Monterrey, the collective action has now spread to over 30 countries and 100 cities as a form of literary protest. This urban intervention can be seen painted in black lettering against a white ground on many of the walls of CDMX’s crumbling infrastructure. Three of these phrases form the basis of the Desire Line series, which acts in equal measure as:
1. a critique of the process of gentrification, displacement, and capitalist desire in the city and its environs
2. a rewriting of the erroneous intention of the museum and its supposed umbrella of ‘care’
3. a poetic exercise in resistance envisioned via the role of architectural space in the preservation of collective memory
The collages, sculptural works and textile designs act as forms of compression. Images taken from the Pre-Columbian collections of El Museo Nacional de Antropología rub up against acción poética’s street graffitied passages and cut digital overlays, all anchored within an architecturally referenced space created by hand shaped frames with stucco-like finishes. The disembodied elements, while each distinct, press against one another in a palimpsest of time and space forming a new ‘ground’ or foundation from which to work, to see, and to remember. This occupation of the liminal, of the in-between within a desire line, shifts us away from capitalist notions of productivity and consumption and instead points us toward the more complex underpinnings of being – those that involve presence, remembering, attention, respect, and at times, a sense of waiting. A waiting for things to unfold, to disappear or, to expand.
Kara Rooney created a photo project 1 year, 8 months ago