My work considers the idea that symbolic and ideological systems can be activated and re-imagined through collaboration, imaginative play and masquerade. To effect this re-imagining objects, bodies, and landscapes are constructed to immerse us in the logic of another place.
In many ways my works become the repository of the dreams and ideas of the many people who participate in producing and imagining the contours of the works. In the tradition of the fable or folk story, I map the desires and ideas of people to create narratives that attempt to be relevant to a contemporary audience.
From 2006-2008, I worked with anthropologist and filmmaker Rachel Lears to develop an Ethnography of No Place, a 30 minute video about fictional No Place, a future constructed for the investigation of human possibilities and impossibilities: configurations of biology, sociality, race, class, sexuality, and the environment designed as reflections on human life and its future. The name is derived from the English word, "utopia," coined by Thomas More from the Greek "no" (ou) and "place" (topos).
With my current project, I shift my focus away from the future to develop a narrative about a contemporary group calledEmpathics whose politicized collective action is informed by what seem to be contradictory positions of a semi-religious commitment to No Place, and the desire to understand the truth through reason and observation.
Each of my projects builds on the logic of the last. l attempt to capture as much information as I can, and approximate in a parallel fictional space and time how things might come to be.
artist’s website: www.sayawoolfalk.com