It is International Migrants Day today. We have a separate day for refugees.
It is a forced second birth this migrating, arriving and trying to survive.
An insight of childhood while I was with my family in the fourth country in which I had lived in my short life led me to a decision at 10 that I would have no country of my own but a language, English, which flows with the oceans around the world.
English is a house, dressed in traditional English colors. And a capacious harbor where a sturdy boat awaits to carry me here and there. Names for almost everything.
Lucky I have been. Two of my intimates suffered in exile until they returned to the land of their birth.
A third took her life in exile. Nor was it exile alone which killed her; but it was the context, color and odor of her death.
She is with me still after so many decades. I post this in loving memory.
And in recognition that it was the survival instinct of a child, Fortuna smiling also, which has saved my sanity, if not my life also.
Exodus, Jon Kessler, American born 1957
An entry in the 2017 Biennial of North American Art at the Whitney Museum, New York
Trunk, wood, aluminum, rubber wheel, found figurines, iPhone with selfie stick, LCD screen and motor, 2016. The figurines were sourced from Ebay. Collection of the artist exhibited at the Whitney Biennial of (North) American Art in 2017
The artist calls his pieces ‘performative sculpture’. This piece is part of The Floating World in which the artist speaks of the impact on people, countries and the ecology of climate change.
Middle of Somewhere, 2000, Sun Kuh Yoo, American born Korea, born 1960.
Middle of Somewhere, 2000, glazed porcelain. Sun Kuh Yoo, American born Korea, born 1960. On exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016
The ceramicist is commenting on the hard process of acclimatizing oneself to a foreign culture and finding a way to be and not die in the process in one life-sustaining part or another life-sustaining part of oneself.