Middle VoiceMay 12 - June 16, 2018
Shapeshifting is resistance, coalitional, and transformative. In Middle Voice, artist Sarita Dougherty works with five multi-generational artists and cultural practitioners of Filipino, Chinese, and Indigenous descent who center earth-based and ancestral practices in their communities. Together, they return to and activate Earth and Ancestor within contemporary realities of nationalism and ecological degradation. Their work invokes the dormant medicine present in the natural living systems that make the conditions of life possible.
Located in the fissures of violent systemic erasure of indigenous histories, origin stories are punctuated throughout the gallery to illuminate political possibilities of survival. Painted en plein air, portraits of native Californian flora and intercultural dwellings reflect one’s relationship to home, earth, and potential. Trash Art installations remix refuse with guile into a native tongue that spits humor; in the next room, an imaginative video installation tells the stories and uses of native plants, inciting life through ceremony. The Sarimanok, the legendary bird of the Maranao people, sits powerfully atop a tapestry, remaking itself throughout the space to frame talismans and animated mandalas.
In the center of the gallery, Paradigm Portal, a portable decolonization chamber made collaboratively by Dougherty and her partner champoy, will host multilingual workshops and healing circles, and at the end of the exhibition, travel to MacArthur Park for public engagement. Paradigm Portal is a site for dreams, a mobile container to reimagine change within the context of late stage capitalism and community resilience. Here, the artists arrive together in the middle voice, the language of ceremonial invocation, to map a hybrid cosmology of ancient ways merging with an urban reality. Middle Voice is an offering to the land and voices of the here and now.
Community programs in conjunction with Middle Voice
✻ Saturday, May 19, 2-4 pm: Artists Walkthrough
✻ Saturday, May 26, 6-10 pm: Kamayan (Traditional Filipino Feast) and Video Screening
✻ Saturday, June 2, 2-5 pm: Palm-Weaving with BukoBomba and Middle Voice Readings
✻ Sunday, June 10, 2-5 pm: MacArthur Park Celebration with Social Justice Theatre, Music, Meditations & Play