apostrophe (2012). Rectified readymade, postcard and corrector.
apostrophe presents a meditation on national belonging and the possibility of an aesthetic education. The project stages an impossible correspondence between myself, a Guatemalan refugee claimant cum Canadian citizen, and an unnamed Egyptian-Canadian man my age imprisoned as an enemy combatant in Guantanamo at the age of fifteen.
he was born in Canada the year after I was born in Guatemala
he was captured and taken to Guantanamo the year after I came to Canada
he was charged with war crimes the year after I received refugee status
he was convicted on those charges the year after I became a citizen
The name of the man, although well known due to international media attention, is withheld from the project for ethical reasons. His image is not used or reproduced as part of the artwork.
apostrophe (2012); photographs by Manolo Lugo.
The project consists of a series of assisted readymade texts and a 24-hour performance at the University of Toronto Art Centre on the occasion of my Masters of Visual Studies thesis exhibition. Actions included counting the 3,438 days of his imprisonment with graphite hatch marks on the gallery wall, reading from texts given to him as part of his prison education and writing an as-of-yet unsent letter to him. The apostrophe finds its etymological origin in the Greek word apóstrophos, meaning eliding, or turning away. As a rhetorical devise, the apostrophe marks the moment when an actor turns from the audience as a means to address a character absent in the scene, or an abstraction.
Vimeo link to documentation: http://vimeo.com/58737035 - videography by Cressida Kocienski.