Fall 23 - Memories
As a Jamaican-Hungarian artist, how has your identity been shaped by the intersection of these cultures?
I had to be comfortable with being different from different. I had to create my own understanding of being other than other. I had to think deeply about the nuances of what it means to be only part of a group: part Jamaican, part Hungarian, part Black, or part white. This forced me to even examine why humans need to identity in groups. I identify in multiple ways. I have found comfort in plurality.
Hair is so very often about an identity and one of the ways we communicate who we are. When did you decide to lock your hair and why?
I decided to lock my hair in college. I was about 20 years old and started to become involved in Rastafari philosophy and lifestyle. At that time Rasta had a tremendous impact on me. It still does.
For many people, the cutting of one’s locks is symbolic? What prompted their removal and how did the idea for this process come about?
I no longer needed a physical and visual representation of what they signified. Also, my identity and belief systems became more complicated and potentially incongruous with the Rasta communities.
Balloons are closely associated with celebrations, joy, and youth. What did they represent here?
In this work, I am curious about weight and culture. By experimenting with helium, I am both asking questions about physical and cultural heaviness.
What is the relationship between hair and memory?
Hair is constantly gathering information. Locks are like hard drives, amassing data from our lives. But hair is also a psychic link and historical reminder of the past.
What books were you reading while working on this piece? Can you share 2-3 titles?
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable