The first little girl was so delighted with the result, I knew it was going to be a big fun. Soon there were kids pouring in and parents hunting for used materials. I picked through the warehouse of goods at reDiscover this morning to find the perfect mix of "trash" to resurrect into art. I was confident that there would be some magic happening.
Each tile represents a significant event in El Salvadoran history, ranging from the birth of the nation to the devastating repression, which left over 75,000 Salvadorans dead, many indiscriminately killed by para-military operations looking to keep control over the small nation during the major power struggle of the Cold War.
El Salvador was one of the first places that I visited out of the US; I became fascinated by its history and later engulfed in the challenge of depicting a complicated, politically-charged story through images.
To help in the deciphering, I have a book that goes along with the exhibit that gives the year and details behind each image.
The string that was supposed to tie it all together was my sketchbooks.
The theme of the night was reusing materials..
Supporting the mission of reDiscover..
Doing an activity with kids that emphasized reused materials..
Exhibiting my headdresses which use quite a lot of second-hand materials..
And screening a sneak peak at the documentary Landfill Harmonic about a group that uses trash to make instruments.
The sketchbooks tie it all in by talking about the landfills of Cambodia and travels in El Salvador along with the tiles showing the history of El Salvador. See it kind of works... but we couldn't get any glass cases, so the sketchbooks had to wait. And therefore the show has a missing link and is a lovely mix of disparity.
Actually I was told that one woman was really pleased with the opposing walls, saying 'this is real, this is how it really is, we are not just one thing." I was happy to hear that because, well, it's true. We are not.
Human rights and geography aside, the headpieces are purely artistic and fantastical. I like to take an idea like a character from a novel and try to make something that represents that story. If you've been here a while, you know they have been worn extensively by Elizaveta.
I also displayed some sketches and notes about the creation of the pieces, and images from some of the photo shoots where they have been used.
A couple of instagrams from the night.
I enjoyed meeting tons of new people, but also loved having all of my friends come out for the night to show their support.
Topping off with some late night sushi, something LA does best : )
Thanks for checking out the stuff and sticking around until the end of this long post with way to many pictures of my mug.
Pictures by Tohru Oneki and John Grimshaw