The final part of the Move On/Get Over it installation.
This work is phenomenological at its core - in other words solely based on heavy study of my own experience. The older I get the more aware I am of a noose around my neck - a noose coming from the history of my ancestors that I’ve tried to subvert in an attempt to fully belong to American society. With each murder of an unarmed black person at the hands of corrupt police, with each family severed apart through deportation or trafficking, with each treaty broken between the natives and our country’s government, I am made more and more aware of my worth in this country. Of my place in its history. Of my noose. And every time I’m told to “get over it” or that “racism doesn’t exist” - or any time I’ve been called a “nigger”, that noose gets a little tighter.
There are only two things stopping me from being completely consumed and erased by this noose: art and knowledge. For others, it is their faith, or knowledge of history, or decolonized way of thinking that saves them. Thus I am standing (precariously) on religious texts and history books. For many, it is art and music that keeps them up - but acknowledging how art is a servile occupation, in a way it encumbers me more (because at the end of the day, I as an artist am still a servant). This is why I’m holding myself up by gripping the rope - in addition to a pen, a brush, and the bow to my violin.
Through globalization America has expanded it’s hand and reached with force into the lives of other countries. Thus, I am holding a “quilt” of flags: flags of the African countries from which most slaves were taken, flags of countries with the most plantations, flags of those who built our country’s infrastructure, or were shunned to internment camps on our soil, flags of countries demonized by our government (despite those same countries being the origins of many american citizens).
I’m holding on to America at the center of it all, but the weight of every country it has become involved with only serves to pull me further down. I’m holding myself up with art, but the weight of pulling myself up and holding my tools is exhausting. I’m supported by religious texts and history - but the amount of decolonized history texts is meager in comparison to Eurocentric interpretations of world history, making my foothold feeble at best.
As I get older I become increasingly aware of my predicament. As I get older it becomes increasingly difficult to get over it - to “move on”.
Performer: Darian T.
Duration: 3 hours