Shared Ancestry is a three-dimensional piece that is activated by a performance. Heavily based on the Western African deity Omolu - whose main characteristic is healing -, and relying on photographs of a wounded past and present - slavery, war, oppression, hunger - I wear a two-piece vestment made dozens of one-inch square of Iroko wood, where the images are transferred to.
The viewer first has access to the piece in its dormant state, when the images are there to be seeing, contemplated either hanging on a wall or resting on mannequin. A second relational stage is achieved when I wear the piece and walk around inviting people to either request a healing in their mind or writing down a request to be attached to the piece.
To fully activate the piece healing qualities, and amplify the images echoes and radiations performing circular movements intoning a humming sound. Shared Ancestry addresses the question of how we shall be in the face of a past and present that locates us as beings of the same species however different and diverse our stories might be.
Below is a cardboard prototype. Final piece will be made of Iroko wood and have images attached to each square as in the grid above
Shared Ancestry Cardboard prototype. Photo by Chris Snow.
Shared Ancestry Cardboard prototype. Photo by Chris Sno