Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation): An installation by Michael Arcega

When 18 Sep 2014 - 30 Nov 2014
Where SFAC Galleries Window Installation Site
155 Grove Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
Enquiry (415) 554-6080

Sidewalk Chat with Michael Arcega and Kevin Chen: Thursday, September 25, 6-7:30pm

In 2011, Michael Arcega built a hand-made, collapsible Pacific outrigger canoe and named it Baby for his solo exhibition at San Francisco’s Luggage Store Gallery. Inspired by the correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Lewis & Clark, Arcega set forth to paint an updated picture of North American people by sailing Baby on rivers and waterways across the U.S. The first leg of Baby’s journey occurred on May 21, 2011 from Richmond, VA (seat of the Confederacy), and concluded near Jamestown, VA (the first successful British colony). Later, Arcega and  Baby sailed in Chincoteage Bay, Pokemoke River, Mississippi River, Bayou St. John, Rio Grande/Pecos River and San Francisco Bay.

This project examines the people of the Nacirema (“American” spelled backwards, and an anthropological term from Horace Mitchell Miner’s 1956 essay “Body Ritual among the Nacirema,” that takes satirical aim at anthropological papers attempting to define “others” in U.S. culture.)  Arcega shares, “This work explores contact languages, Pidgins and Creoles, often referred to as mediums for inter-ethnic communication. Baby takes that medium role and becomes both a vehicle for geographic navigation as well as a metaphor for intercultural navigation.”

With this Grove Street installation, Baby will be suspended in the space, becoming more of a thought-object, rather than a vessel.  Passers by will encounter a view of Baby through the windows; it will carry their own reflection as well as the constant reflection of City Hall.  This dynamic positioning serves to provide new context for Baby’s role as a medium and metaphor for communication.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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