desaparecidos may refer to the victims of enforced disappearance


April 2012, Black Room, CSUS

Desaparecidos was a week-long installation for an Installation/Performace Art course at CSU-Sacramento. I wanted to negotiate the historically specific experiences involved with migration (Filipinos who were forced to move from space to space under many colonialisms).

I believe the act of remembrance is a necessary ritual we perform to sustain life.  In this darkroom, a type of visual archaeology happens. I write with chalk on the walls to impress the impersonal words with the personal. As you walk into the room you are encouraged to sit on whatever you can find and make yourself comfortable. A while later, I lit single incense sticks and handed them to participants. The smoke and scent from the incense necessarily travelled above our heads, making its way upwards into the darkness.

Cutting between the horizon of the room’s space, was a wooden structure, holding up a second, unfinished level. The viewer experiences objects that they may or may not recognize, sitting just above their heads. Broken mandolin, two violins, a portrait of my great-grandparents, food cans, food packages, mandolin strings. A video, on the second level, was projected below, into a large blue and white ceramic pot filled with water. You could not see the video, only the illuminated colored light. More photography from the installation can be found here: notes on the installation:

I. Dis language of movementimmigrationmigration, emigration are connoted, each through lived experiences, and as a dialectics among the physical bodies of the  disappeared.

II. When there is language, there is always the untranslatable.

III.  The dislocation, in-between, lack, the lost, the forgotten, absence, darkness, the negative space, is where I find myself most of the time

IV. “An attentiveness to seeing absence, the bodies, the histories, and subjectivities not captured by visual representation”


More installation photography coming soon…