Altar’d States (Sculpture/Multimedia Installation)
2020 – 2021
Industrial foam, latex, various fibres, banana leaves, spray paint, acrylic paint/mediums, paper/polymer clay, mirror shards, cardboard, chicken wire, papier maché, plaster, candle wax, doll eyes, gold leaf, found objects, digital/analogue animation, sound collage and performance.
Altar’d States functions as a cross disciplinary installation work exploring the subjective and complex mixed race experience. The work tackles concepts of formlessness, the liminal space, ritual, fetishism, and internal/external projections/reflections.
The work poses the question, what does it mean to be mixed race? While simultaneously presenting its ritual aspects as a desire to heal feelings of division, ambiguity and being othered into one whole being that transcends the liminal barrier. Altar’d States explores all these themes through my conceptual and emotional engagements with embodied struggles, as well as the complex exploration/dissection of hybridity and identity politics so prevalent in my lived experience as a South East Asian Filipinx and European artist.
The addition of the video performance character, Luha ni Nanay, comes from the Illongo Filipinx dialect and translates to Mother of Tears. She is derived from a mix of Filipinx folk religion and folklore legend. The tears on her outer face and namesake refer to cleansing and release. Luha ni Nanay is a witch from an ethereal realm participating in a ritual act of both protection and healing with her repetitive sweeping away of the black salt circle.
Western spiritualist practices have a saying, “as within, so without.” This saying compounds evaluating the reflective, confronting effects of looking/projecting inward and outward, internalising and externalising, while also being gazed upon by the viewer in relation to acts of projection and othering. These coexisting actions aim to create greater awareness of our learned, unconscious, shadow behaviours and beliefs, and together looking for truths and understanding within self acceptance as the intended crux of Altar’d States.