Messages to Authorities (Go Away!) - Aram Han Sifuentes
Messages to Authorities (Go Away!)
Aram Han Sifuentes
Wool felt and fusible web on cotton curtains
The U.S. Constitution protects all people living in the United States, regardless of immigration status, with certain rights and protections. Using the household window curtain format, Aram Han Sifuentes appliques messages to authorities (such as police and I.C.E.) and messages to neighbors of basic constitutional rights to protect ourselves if such authorities show up at our homes. This series of textile works by the Chicago-based artist aims to translate these soft barriers into safe shelter through words and pronouncement of our civil rights.
Aram Han Sifuentes
Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they) is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to center immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest.
As an immigrant and a daughter of a seamstress, Han Sifuentes learned to sew at the age of six to help her mother earn a living. In this way, sewing has ever since been an important part of her body, memory, and politics. Sewing is a medium for her to investigate identity politics, immigration and immigrant labor, possession and dispossession, citizenship and belonging, dissent and protest, and race politics in the United States.
Her art practice situates itself at the intersection of fiber, social practice, performance, and pedagogy. At the core of her practice, she creates socially engaged and materially rich projects in an ‘art world’ environment that are available and accessible for those who are disenfranchised, particularly for dispossessed immigrants of color.
In her work Han Sifuentes confronts social and racial injustices against the disenfranchised and riffs off of official institutions and bureaucratic processes to reimagine new, inclusive, and humanized systems of civic engagement and belonging. Doing this by creating participatory and active environments where safety, play, and skill-sharing are emphasized. Even though many of her projects are collaborative and communal in nature, they incite and highlight individual’s experiences, politics, and voice.