BLACK MIRROR Marigold Santos
Exhibition Runs: May 22- July31, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, May 22 8-11pm
In my practice, I explore the ways in which ideas of self can become multiple, fragmented, and dislocated and then re-invented and created through a reflection of what is considered home.
My family’s immigration from the Philippines to Canada in the late 80’s serves as a departure point and personal reference to the ideas of hybridity, and multiplicity of self – where the social landscape and politics, the physical differences of geography from one country to the next, and the sense of a young self adapting to their new environment is considered and explored. I seek to negotiate the narratives of past and present; in their re-telling and reconfiguring, they transform to become personal myth whose imagery functions in the fantastical and otherworldly. This is the realm of play where I situate my work.
In most recent works, the fragmented and multiple self is investigated through a hybridization of characters of Filipino folklore such as the Asuang with Western folklore and the occult, pop culture, science/science fiction, geological processes, weather systems, tropical and North American landscapes, decomposition and decay, coincide with references to childhood games that attempt to connect and communicate with the supernatural to bring what is not of the home, into what is the home – suggesting boundaries crossed in favor of testing limits and gauging what to fear and believe, and how to make sense of the unknowable.
BLACK MIRROR continues with these themes, as it explores the dueling binaries whose existence depends on the tethering of its polar counter. Seemingly governed by the cosmos and magnetism of the moon, balance is only but present for a moment until all chaos erupts and cycles a new. What is concealed becomes temporarily revealed through a shift of light, an eclipse, and only for the purpose of alchemical transformation and reconfiguration into a new form, concept, emotion, thought.
Existing simultaneously to one another, and as multivalent Asuang creatures shrouded in layers of tension and texture, they pose quiet questions regarding the gravitas behind the notion of a secret. What is hidden beneath a boundary? What results when the threshold begins to deteriorate and disintegrate, to then evolve, and permit the process to remain plural and porous? What is revealed? What was in shadow is acknowledged, and embraced. The darkside.
The black mirror refers to a tool (Claude Glass) used by image-makers of the 18th and 19th centuries to aid in observing their subject matter by simplifying and editing the reflection of what they wanted to paint. With their backs turned to their physical subject, the black mirror would reveal colors and light compounded, with noise and extraneous detail avoided. What was of importance and significant was portrayed. Invented truths were created. This truth becomes their new vocabulary, a visual language in which to create their narrative and personal myth.
For myth can be understood as a collection of disconnected information, gathered and grouped together to make sense of disparate elements, of which to turn to for order and explanations regarding our lived experiences. Much like the constellations, flattened dots to represent a recognizable symbol or image, their grouping allows us to create understanding and make closer the light year gaps that exists between these stars. This mythology created is woven into the fabric of our lives. Our ever-fragmenting, unraveling, and intertwining experiences, to make up the sweaters that our ghosts will wear.