Arrow references the four directions, the elements, and the Seven Fires Prophecy as foundational starting points to engage cross-cultural intersecting themes of migration, ecological devastation, intergenerational and historical trauma, as well as individual and collective responsibility. The works weave together charged materials like gunpowder and archival images alongside a sound piece that collages personal narratives and pop music with research from Indigenous and Black scholars/activists to rethink the Statue of Liberty and Birth of the New World monuments. This mash-up resulted in a sound installation of the audio essay A cross is an Arrow that points four ways and includes four wall sculptures and a ritual candle performance. The audio essay, whose narrative is non-linear and circular inspired by Caribbean Native mythologies and the Seven Fires Prophecy, was split into five speakers across the room. The complete audio essay played at the center of the room via a parabolic speaker, and parts of the essay played from the four stereo speakers at the corners. The parts (stereo speakers) layered on top of the complete audio essay (parabolic speaker) to create an echo or a glitch. The layered sounds became discordant and dissonant over time as gaps and delays emerged, making the narrator’s words almost illegible. While guests engaged with the installation, I brewed a pot of wax, asking folks to participate in ritual candle-making. These one-on-one candle brewing sessions became moments for meditation and rest, as myself and participants connected over the topics being disseminated. As we communed, I described the healing properties of the plant materials and guided participants individually to brew their unique wax blend. These individualized gestures of poured wax spilled out from the marginal spaces of the room, layering on top of each other to form a collective gesture of accumulative intentions. 
Access the Seven Fires Prophecy as told by the Circle of Turtle Lodge

Listen to the audio essay A cross is an Arrow that points four ways

Read transcript

Watch a video walkthrough of the installation Arrow

Image list
©Yani aviles 2024