BY NAUFUS RAMIREZ-FIGUEROA
-a table laid with masala curry powder (in small containers or packages).
-a caucasian actor with a beard, wig, and darker skin make up pretending to be me promotes the "free curries to refugees". He is adamant that he is me and explains things from a small script to convince visitors of the what he is giving out (a provocation to rethink the role of refugees in the arts, and other marginal people...as sometimes people of colour are said to have an easier time getting ahead because they can sell their issues to a white guilted art audience.)
My practice enacts the connection between art and research. I combine academic research with fieldwork by visiting and spending time in communities while I develop my ideas and visual language.
I often work with impermanent materials, such as candy, fruit, earth, and fireworks. By working with ephemera I seek intense aesthetic experiences in time. I enjoy how an ephemeral work may make us acutely aware of the present moment, as well as transport us to emotions and associations drawn from our past.
Though my creative process is committed to experimentation and research, and my subject matter often deals with things such as the Guatemalan Civil War, the results are often absurd and humorous. I have found that refugees and survivors of war are often that way; nothing in life is ever so dire as to be unworthy of a joke or two.