Trying To Put It All Back Together Again
Trying to Put it all Back Together: The Weight of the Stone still in the Gold. 2019
Trying to put it all back together again: A funny sort of grafting (and we should talk about reparations and repatriation)
Trying to Put it all Back Together: how the hog hair had held up the walls of this home… Our home.
This body of work uses absurdity and weight to address the challenges of undoing the harm caused by extraction and colonial legacies, utilizing inherited gold family jewelry and the metaphorical weight of this (and other kinds of) intergenerational inheritances. Trying to return these metals to the rocks they were extracted from. This work connects the gold we choose to wear on our bodies with the ghost of the slag or the extra weight of this rock discarded in the mining process, a weight potentially measured in the tons. Through the work I ask do we carry this weight around with us on our necks and in our pockets, when we wear the gold that it was extracted from? This work clamps family gold jewelry into pieces of quarts that are scraps from the countertop industry. Gold is often found in quartz veins. The clamping is itself a forced gesture of return, highlighting that healing is not simply a gesture of return or undoing.
But still asks, can we return the gold to the hills? Can we heal the traumas, dislodge the weight?
These works are sketches for a larger proposed project
Two douglass fur studs taken from my home and joined together in an attempt to recreate the length of the original Douglass Fir Tree*. I live in a Victorian home in San Francisco, and I think often of the legacy of these homes, mostly built in the decades just after the gold rush, and the subsequent mass deforestation, attempted genocide, and the wholesale destruction of so many multi species homes that occurred in building these homes (and what is now my home). Because of the current real-estate gold rush, many of these Victorians are being quickly renovated and so the ancient trees cut down only a hundred years ago to build them are being sent to landfill. While these trees had a long life growing (though cut short), and will have a long life in landfill— it is interesting to me that their use value under a capitalist time frame has been considerably shorter (only a century in this case). The studs are joined with a Kintsugi join that is made from inherited family gold jewelry which has been melted down and pounded. The join is failing here, slumping in the center, which feels evocative of this work and the challenges it is working through.