Onar (repair the dream), 2020
video projection with stereo sound; survival rescue blankets; wire, metal screen, LED lighting, glass, minerals, crystals, mirror, salt.
During the Covid pandemic quarantine of 2020, I was invited to participate in the Atlanta Contemporary’s 20 year anniversary show of the Artist Studio Program, curated by Daricia Delmarr and Kristin Cahill. I will complete two new site specific installation works, for Chute Space (former coal burning underground cement bunker) and Sliver Space. The first iteration was done for Chute Space.
The video for this work was filmed on a deserted beach in summer 2019 on a remote part of Kefalonia, Greece, the island that has support Drifters Project research for many years. The concept evolved from my work on the island of Lesvos, with some of the 600,000+ refugees that have migrated there. Within the mountains of life-vests that are now a permanent landscape of that island, there were also gold survival rescue blankets, which I have been utilizing as material for the past several years. Thin, cheap and plastic, they are critical in at-sea rescue efforts, but also have tremendous metaphoric potential.
I made the gold islands with the idea of creating ‘islands of refuge,’ that in the film are also migrating, moving and eventually going out to sea, escaping.
The title Onar, comes from a word that was printed on one of the life-vests. Onar is a Turkish life-vest manufacturer, but the word also has other meanings. In Arabic, onar means ‘repair.’ In ancient Greek, it means ‘dream.’ The Arcadian dream we must repair is that of our relationship to the non-human world, our relationship to the other, as now witnessed in the coronal effect of its brokenness.
Onar is also an anagram of ‘Rona,’ slang for the corona virus, Covid 19.
Special thanks to Craig Dongoski (sound design)
View 4k video of the piece: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11vKg2n75bihJC9nVmXjp7B4GPBhJnW8s/view