This is My Family, 2017, powdered, compressed and vine charcoals, graphite, drawing paper, inked tracing paper, cotton t-shirts, black artist tape, on wall, 2 walls: 196 x 101 and 209 x 124 inches
This site-specific, multi-part drawing includes elements of collage, assemblage and installation on two adjacent walls. The work features three central vignettes—silhouettes of my family, three butchers pinning and slaughtering a goat, and three firefighters— transposed onto the wall through charcoal rubbed over large-scale hand-cut stencils. These vignettes are layered with black-inked transparency paper held by artist tape; hand-drawn minarets; charcoal-saturated rags; prayer rug fringe; and a ledge to catch erasure and charcoal remnants. The abstract vignettes float on the wall without a definable border between each. This creates confusion between the background and the foreground normally well defined in Western art. Through the month-long exhibition, I visited the gallery every day for an hour, erasing and adding elements, thereby making different layers visible and invisible. The process of making and breaking are performative techniques that constitute the work.