Every Time I Step Towards Freedom:
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery [DFBRL8R]/Zhou B Art Center - Chicago, USA - 2019
Union Art Gallery/University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA - 2020 (A Recalling)
Duration: approx. 25 mins
The artist wanted to visually address the stigmatizations Muslims still face in the US since 9/11, and the reactions of society that traumatized their religious existence that they had to justify through labour and hard work, as well as prove their goodness. The materials for this piece were inspired by a previous project by the artist called Sitting in Our Lap & Plucking Our Beard.
The performer rubs the bordering blocks with a black paste liquid and proceeds to do the Muslim purification ritual (Wudu) with the same liquid paste in the bucket instead of traditionally clean water. Then the flag gets unfolded carefully to begin the prayer that every time ends with the performer placing a block on the flag, until praying becomes impossible, and then leaves the space.
The remains are a flag covered with bricks, and stained with black paste body marks and drips, which is all surrounded by a border of paste marking the cinder block formation that once was.
Photography: DFBRL8R Gallery Assistants
A Recalling credit: Danielle Paswaters
(Note: The recalling video below happened as a remote version for the Union Gallery Milwaukee exhibition.)