My ongoing series “CLIMATE-IMMIGRANTS" (2016-Present) is an ongoing performance and multimedia site specific installation that considers the impending plight of climate induced migration worldwide and its effects on people of color. The performers wear 'Climate-Ponchos' which feature vinyl cutouts depicting silhouettes of traveling immigrants against colorful floral backgrounds.
Previous iterations have been presented at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts, Siren Arts, and the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.
For this project I wanted to do something of a global scale that implicated a broad audience and included as many people as possible. I conceived of the idea of climate-induced migration as a very real issue of our time that needs to be voiced. The performers will wear what I call “climate ponchos,” which includes head gear that obscures the performers faces, an approach I chose because of the mystery and anonymity it affords. Always silent, these figures will roam about the installation site and in various locations create repetitive sculptural forms and movements for attendees. Additional elements of sound and video will help to contextualize the experience for viewers.
The clear wearable climate ponchos are adorned with images that depict the archetype of the “traveler,” with the people depicted wearing backpacks, carrying suitcases, wearing hats and some holding children. They are all on their way somewhere, in one direction a lot of the times. This simple showing of people in movement, in transition, resonates with a world-wide issue and will echo the reality of the viewers as they themselves traverse space to witness the performance.
I enjoy the ambiguity of the words “Climate Immigrant” and “climate Ponchos” as they evoke both natural and political notions.