Victoria-Idongesit Udondian

How Can I be Nobody?
Artistic Discipline: Visual Arts
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2022
Location: DUMBO

How can I be Nobody? A site-specific solo exhibition that transforms and connect Smack Mellon’s Dumbo gallery, a former industrial site, to the foundational role of immigrant labour in capitalist production. I collaborate with and compensate members of immigrant communities, converting my studio and the gallery into a ‘textile mill’ to create a large-scale hand-woven sculpture using second-hand clothes/ repurposed materials. This install becomes an enclave that will be activated through performances based on various rituals and lived experiences of my collaborators. The sculpture is limited to the colour black in acknowledgement of black and brown lives lost in an attempt to migrate for better living conditions. In addition to the woven installations, 2 large ship rib sculptures are constructed to reference the Brooks slave ship and allude to the migrant ship that constantly languishes on the Mediterranean Sea. Life-cast of hands collected from the immigrants’ collaborators constitute one of the ship ribs while the other is made with salvaged shipping pallet with tons of used shoes installed in it. Here the piece seeks to question the relationship between bodies and transit in global labour economies. Accompanying these sculptures is the sound of collected stories from my collaborators.

Image: Udondian Ada Usung