Mickey-Me, Ship Wreck and Possibility
A narrative of this work began with Subterranean Borders a collective body of work by MobileInTent that began in Tapalpa, Mexico and traveled to Dream Farm Commons in 2019. As as an examination of colonialism and the culture of extraction, the group of six artists searched beneath the surface: through dream sequences and time travel of poetics and materialism we investigated extraction of minerals, water, and labor; white supremacist underpinnings for border claims; colonialism’s reach into our bodies and dreams; the deep rumblings of counter forces and possibility. Recalling the work of Ariel Gorman, Enrique Chagoya and numerous artists and activists who held Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as stand ins for capital, extraction and colonialism, the Mickies appeared out of the clay of the earth. The Mickies took on a life of their own and went to an illogical extreme: extracting teeth for pearls and making bigger and bigger necklaces.
The Teeth for Pearls necklace is bones, talisman, grave digging, shame, symbol of extraction, whiteness, privilege and accumulation.
All other pieces of the installation interact with the teeth as Ann and the Mickies consider the climate as the existential crisis of our times, how this crisis has been propelled by the ravenous appetites of an ever expanding economy and the crudeness of capital, operative in our current economy and lives. We want to re-imagine possibility but sometimes we are stuck.
Who gets what?
Why greed for pearls?
What is precious or false and just what is a pearl? or a rose?
Does the lamb chop I eat today impact the hunger of the malnouished whales that died in the bay last week?
How can we re-imagine possibility and make beauty out of historic and present genocide, ecolologic disaster and tragedy?
Lately Ann and the Mickies have been reading contemporary Brazilian theorist Suely Rolnik. Anthropophagic Subjectivity engages with a new subjectivity, or idea of self, that cannibalizes oppositional forces, literally eating one’s enemy, digesting and integrating the colonizer, colonized, high culture, low culture, opera and soap opera. Rolnik says we can resist binaries by moving through unstable realities with a compass guided by the body: a vibratile surface that detects the waves before they arise, learning how to surf and move with different flows of possibility. “We must learn to sail or surely we will end on the rocks”, says Suely Rolnik and we are listening.
It is all connected.