Thick Like Dumpling
Thick Like Dumpling
Opening June 10th, 12pm
10 June – July 18 2021
HOUSING is pleased to present a group exhibition, Thick Like Dumpling, featuring work by Albert Chong, Saray Escoto, Abigail Lucien, and Hasani Sahlehe.
(A simile uses the word like or as, an analogy is a simile with an explanatory point)
What defines the Caribbean is a body of water, a sea, the Caribbean sea.
Populations of people that did not ask to be there, people that were brought to these islands, people that live on these islands, people that leave these islands, people that come back, people that never come back, islands and coastlines a "c" shape, like a belly convex or concave - holding or pushing.
Humidity - water in the air - a thickness - don't choke its not solid, more chewy, something that you knead with your fingers, push press slap for the texture, apply heat watch rise
I got thick blood, blood clots, bloodclat, blood, soaked the ground for enough centuries that it now runs through the ground, thick enough to travel through water like data submarine channels - traveling for points of connection, direct and indirect connections
A third space emerges, one that fuses displacement and connection - mirroring an archipelago, a series of repeating islands, individual but in relation. A series of linkages that contradict an ordinary concept of home. A Diaspora. The Caribbean produces a diaspora while also being the product of several. What defines a diaspora is in fact that point of connection, despite and often because of separation.
Albert Chong creates thrones to those displaced, specifically his own displaced ancestors. By removing the tangibility of the altar itself, we are left with an image of it's being, an artifact. The distance taunts the viewer but it provides a boundary for the dead, where a relationship to them is stepped in a respect that reveals a spiritual union. Altars, being not just a place to commemorate the dead, ask the ancestors for favors, but a place to self-surrender to a spiritual connection.
Saray Escoto's documentation challenges voyeurism by offering a personal connection through her own implication in her images. Instead she uses documentation to illustrate Pan-Africanism as a series of moments in shared material experiences. That politics are also mundane moments of connection between people, and the ability for people to express their relation to one another and to pleasure in a world structured by labor.
Abigail Lucien transforms building materials to be performances of their functions, imbued with their relationships, rather than illustrating. Chicken feet for protection: breeze blocks build nothing, instead they point, become small monuments, not enough to carry that name, but more than enough to be a marker.
Hasani Sahlehe considers migration in visual markers of color, language, and nature that point to an environment while being vague enough to dodge intimacy. For him perception is malleable to the point in which images carry so much cultural value that they are simultaneously empty. A feedback loop between floating signifier, disconnected signifier, and empty signifier. Repeat.
Thick Like Dumpling is curated by Sucking Salt, a collective, an archive, and a research project. We are interested in a type of "Pan-Caribbeanism" as expressed through architecture, aesthetics, and structures: illustrating history and moments of contact through materialism.