S WORD

S WORD, 2020
multimedia installation at St. John’s University Art Center
(audio & video projection, linocut press prints on book production waste paper, etc.)

In the beginning was word and sword, one begetting the other. 

In opposition they appear as in a duel, but as equals on the scroll they are co-conspirators in conflict and resolution, and conflict again, bearing witness one to the other. Fearful weapons borne by warriors of hope, scrolls of law and banners of war, unfurling, time and again.

Blood and ink spill to the same ground.

Yet with the scroll there is no page to turn, no past to move beyond. What gets recorded, reminded, and what fades away into shadows and scars, becomes the ghost of the future. Can we learn to linger in the space between the bleed lines, or breathe life into the rift and wreckage left behind and waiting ahead?

Bleed Lines
linocut press prints on book production waste paper rolls

Unbound – Black Book
book cover, linocut ghost prints on book production waste paper cuts

Letter to Baba
HD video projection

In this beginning is a word, daughter to father. “Baba?” 

It is a simple inquiry, a request for presence and assurance in troubled times. Nothing is written. There is no paper, no pen, nor gun nor sword, just a word, spoken plainly, if not plaintively, of one seeking wisdom and insight from the past in order to illuminate what is now, in full measure, the nearness to war.

The tender voice tinged with curiosity, fear and resignation, probes histories, close at hand and universal, for shards of truth in a world fractured and tilted badly off axis.

S WORD and LETTER TO BABA are companion works which probe the power and efficacy of words and guns in a world consigned to both. S WORD draws from our deep history with the written word and tools of war and presents both as weaponized figures on paper scrolls. LETTER TO BABA is a video work seen as both documentary and diary, at once profoundly personal, yet speaking to universal truth and fear.

Ghost Print – Black Board
linocut press prints of the first lesson in Farsi Alphabets: A & B creating the word Āb: water and B & A creating the word BĀBĀ: dad.

Flat File Homework
retrieved art historical slides from St. John Visual Library archives, linocut press prints of the first lesson in Farsi Alphabets: A & B creating the word Aab: water and B & A creating the word BĀBĀ: dad.