Ali Youssefi Project
Codices, 2019, 59 x 190 x 4", recycled synthetic material bags sewn together and de-woven, pigment, human hair
The included art works were completed while participating in the Ali Youssefi Project / Verge Art Center Residency in Sacramento, Fall 2019. The Verge exhibition continued to March 2020. The imagery is informed by past and present agriculture and construction labor practices in the Central Valley. In October when I arrived, the rice harvest was in full swing in the fields just north of downtown near the airport. Big-time agribusiness done with machines and very few hands. Gradually my studio practice during the residency began to include the bulk synthetic bags used to store rice, sugar, nuts, and various construction materials.
The work process of de-weaving the synthetic fabric, and sewing new compositions is a metaphor for de-weaving the narratives of the Central Valley and its colonial past. The backstitch used to reconstruct the bags is a metaphor for seeing. The exploitation of labor, land, and lives is part of California history. I want to unravel this information and see the place as a de-colonized setting. Work processes of de-weaving and backstitching gives me a physical connection to the subject in the current moment. By understanding the hidden and unspoken histories, we can look ahead to the future. We did not arrive at the present jacked-up moment in our country by accident.
Codex, 2019, 87 x 108 x 7", recycled bulk material bag, deconstructed, dewoven, 22k gold leaf, human hair, US$
Jacked Up, 2019, 123 x 18 x 8", floor to ceiling installation. Simplex Train Jack, 4" polished tubing, Baluchistan carpet
Jacked Up, detail
Jacked Up, detail
Lift, 2019, Installation with used hand trucks outfitted with chrome extensions, leather support belt
Endless Support, 95 x 10 x 10", interlocking leather support belts with inlaid mirrors, steel chain
Horizon, 93 x 74 x 4", sewn together, de-woven material bags ribbon
Leland, 90 x 22 x 10", Wall Street Journal financial pages collaged with 22 k gold leaf, gilded railroad spike ,3/8" steel rod
Diamond of California, 24 x 40”, synthetic material bags, human hair