Wednesday, January 30, 2013

YAP's Dreams and Realities Exhibition

Consider the phrase: “claiming places”.

Amy Flroes,  Home, 2012, Chair, paint, photographs and stuffed  animas
In El VEstíbulo
Dreams & Realities:
Works by the Students of Taller’s Youth Artist Program
January 25th to March 23rd, 2013
If chairs could talk…

Consider the phrase: “claiming places”. What does it mean to claim your place, to mark a spot as your own? In essence, it is providing evidence of your existence. The students of Youth Artist Program at Taller Puertorriqueño questioned this when provided the opportunity to participate with the Claiming Places series. In our conversations, we discussed home, family, community, graffiti, furniture, video games, posters, etc. It was the image of the chair in the family living room that stuck in our minds. We peeled away the layers of the chair in order to understand why we came to this image and how we may use it when talking about claiming places.

The chair is a universal place of rest. Chairs can be found in your home, in restaurants, in the park, or on the street. It is a place of comfort for the traveler, the worker, the young, and the old. When we sit, we nest. The nest serves the purpose of the sitter: to relax, to learn, to collect items or thoughts, to feed – these are the evidences of our existence. Sometimes, we are even particular about the type of location of our nests. A person may ‘call a spot’ before taking a seat or go through great discussion with others about where the best place is to sit.

A seat declares the impression of a person. The depth of seat cushion dents informs how a person sits, the weight, how long a person sits or how long the nest was abandoned. Seats that remain long show evidence by stains, rips, lumps, and strange colors. When seeing an empty chair in the trash, we can imagine the nest it once was: survivor of many coffee spills and book-readings, story-time with the ones you long, refuge and safe-haven from the hardships of the outside world, or a child’s play-time rocket ship to the moon. 

It is this type of imagination and personal touch that inspired the YAP students to take classroom chairs from the Art Room and convert them into messages about themselves, their community, and their history to create a nest.



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