Earlier this month, I mailed an original painting and art/activism manifesto for two of my friends that became forever lost in transit through USPS. Thus, I made an online archive of the lost package. Today, I share the contents with the rest of the world.
16″x 20″ | Goauche on hand-sewn paper envelope | Inspired by a the scene of the burning house from the end of “The Sacrifice” by Andrei Tarkovsky.
I scattered a thousand seeds. Mailed this painted envelope across the country in February 2015. It never made its’ way to the recipients. So I made an online presentation of the package and delivered it to them via google hang-out.
To immigrate is to lose a native land, a family, a history, for the assimilation into another. To live as an immigrant – is to do the archiving yourself. Let us rise from every loss, be it a native land or a piece of mail, and give away even more.
THE LETTER: A MAP, A MANIFESTO
On one side: a constellation of a swan. Each vertice on the body pointing to the place we each immigrated from. The wing points to the NYC area, where we met and currently make work in now.
On the other side: a manifesto honoring the immigrant lineage that came before us, pointing toward the worlds we will reclaim together or apart. Also a reminder to hold close to magic, in dark times when we may forget.
Now, sitting across the country from both of you, there is so much that I want to share that I could not find the words for amidst the tobacco smoke-diffused light that filled your Newark studio last Wednesday.
2014 was a year where every Brooklyn morning, getting out of bed was the biggest ordeal. Because this world isn’t made for us. This world isn’t made for magic. Therefore I began to doubt my own identity, and my own magic.
But I remember, in the shrillest quiet, dandelions grow against concrete and turn their faces toward the sun. So when the westernized language we have been given – fails, of course we must turn to language of magic and the imaginary. We discover it singing inside us in the darkest of times.
There are myriad forces: immigration, genocide, drug wars, displacement, and many more that compelled our families to leave generations of blood and lands behind for America. These forces compelled us to redefine “dreaming.” That to make art at all against the concrete boundaries of the rational world is a form of resistance. These forces hummed in the background as we exchanged mythologies across from each other on Wednesday in your studio.
Now that we have met, I am not afraid of the boundary between the city wall & the wild, the streets & my own body, this burning country & the new world buried below it. With the hope you have shared with me, all boundaries are now illusory.
Why does this hope feel so familiar? Because there is a lineage of political artist/activists who have lived through these struggles decades before our birth. Through blood, through spirit, through iconography, we carry their work onward. Together, we are artist collective of ghost & flesh. We must declare the new hierarchy for this world.
Sitting in your living room, as the sun dragged its starlight one more time below the horizon and lit up all our faces, I told you: “I have an idea for a mural.” LNY said “lets do it.” MATA’s eyes lit up and smiled. EZLN lays her soft head on my knee in her gentle equilibrium.
And so I have come to realize that 2015 is a gift.
For we have met. For another year begins.
This world grows ever more vibrant with the two of you in it.
I am honored to be walking across the white canvas with you both beside me.
Together, there is no color we can’t paint or reclaim.
I am ready.
– SNOW, February 2015