Together Again, RAIR Philly Residency, Philadelphia, USA, 2022

Mixed-media installation, variable sizes
Atelier Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA

During my four-week residency at RAIR Philly, I built my concept around family photographs that I picked at the dumpsite at Revolution Recovery (a waste management company in North East Philadelphia). I considered such pictures as a starting point that inspired me to focus on collecting domestic objects that hold personal histories—salvaging those images and various items before they get smashed and combined into large piles before being loaded into trailers and taken to landfill. I based my criteria on the emotional quality of any object I picked. I collected dozens of family photos, albums, projector slides, scrapbooks, personal notes, death certificates, eviction notices, kids’ toys, various pieces of furniture, home appliances, and equipment.

I watched the front-end loaders brutally and systematically crushing everything into one big mound of consolidated fragments during my days at the dumpsite. With such action, personal histories get wiped once and for all, and I pondered the possibility of reconstructing them.

I carefully obscured any features or names that could allude to specific identities and pieced the various objects together in ways that don’t serve their original purpose, reconstructing a surreal, hallucinatory narrative. To me, all objects in that context become archives registering detached histories. I assigned them a new voice in an attempt to investigate the relationship between materiality, death, and memory.