Vased serise, 2018
Ink, acrylic, and graphite on paper
18 x 24"
The series explore major impacts caused by (what appears to be) minor displacements, parallel to Henrietta Lacks’s story of how a small removal of sample cells that results in major medical breakthroughs at the cost of individual consent. Instead of the removal of cells, each body in Vased is removed from its original environment and encapsulated into a foreign vessel. The works depict the body beginning to conform to the vessel’s shape, similar to cells conforming to a petri dish.
Through my experience speaking with Las Vegas residents, Las Vegas is a place where everyone is “from somewhere else”. Most of the dialogue of the relocations are considered “minor” in comparisons to moves due to religious/race persecution, war, or famine… However, many of us collectively experience this displacement, of bodies and cells in a different place, resulting in the feeling of liberation or constriction. The bodies in Vased explore the moments of decisions between these feelings. Unlike Lacks’s story, the bodies here have agency in their fate, even if the choice to occupy a new environment was made under constraint.