No Instructions for Assembly, Activation I

2013 

Dimensions Variable (Installed within a traditional gallery space). 5 unframed diptychs and collages (8" x 12"), 15 unframed original photographs (seven 16" x 24", eight 12" x 16"), 12 framed found photographs (one 11" x 14", four 12" x 16", two 11" x 17", three 16" x 24", two 8" x 10"), 234 found photographs and personal family photographs, various tufts of family hair, crumbled American flag sewn with linen thread (3' x 5'), 2 Islamic prayer rugs (2.5' x 5'), large burgundy abaya, black hijab, New York Times newspapers, Muslim Journal periodicals, Final Call periodicals, 35 books, 6 religious tracts, 5 mirrors (11" x 14"), cigarette boxes, tea bags, black stockings, bleaching cream, concealer, votive candle, handwritten letters, upholstered chair, album covers

This work was conceptualized while a resident at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2012) and while a resident at the Center for Book Arts (2013). This solo exhibition was presented by Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT as part of the Step Up Emerging Artist Award. 

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I created an ephemeral archive of my family within a traditional gallery space through the juxtaposition, layering and echoing of over 600 individual found and personal objects as well as original photography and text. The installation engaged with spatial registers such as taxonomy grid display to explore the tension between the archive's promise of narrative order and the ultimate betrayal of this archival promise as I came to terms with the complexity of memory and the impossibility of assembling a single corpus of memory from the fragments. In the second (2013) and third (2014) iterations of No Instructions for Assembly, I installed excerpts in compressed spaces that allowed the audience to be more intimately engaged and to participate through the creation of their own miniature archival installations.

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