While browsing the web one day long ago, I came across a very old news report. The Imam of a mosque in Ann Arbor was being deported much to the upset of the entire community of Ann Arbor. This Imam had worked trying to build connections between his mosque and other religious communities of the Area.
Yet, after 9/11 the government had gone through and done secret investigations, and pinpointed that some of the charities this Imam had donated to had been connected to 9/11. At least that is the explanation they gave the public. The trail was done in secret too. It was reported the Imam and most of his family was to be deported. All except one child who was born in America of the age of either 3 or 5 (I forget the exact age.)
So I went to investigate how the Mosque was feeling about this after all these years. This was the first and only time I was asked if I was a secret agent. The only news I was told is that they were forbidden to talk about the event to anyone.
So this piece was about being Tied up in ones Freedom of Speech. To have such a dramatic event happen to a Loved member of the community of Ann Arbor, and then almost all news reports deleted. It was just by chance that I happened upon this one.
I had been looking up who the Imam of Ann Arbor was. The Muslim faith was one which I felt my religious classes in a Catholic School had failed to teach me enough about. So I wanted to talk to the Imam to correct this oversight. Then I discovered the hidden drama of the past.
So I attempted to do this artwork above. It was two sets of four tiles, with postcards on top. I glued post cards cut to the shape of the title to be able to draw better on the tile with Oil Pastel. On top of it I set four posts cards that could be lifted off.
I had found a box of hundreds of posts cards of the same kind at a thrift store. I taped the post cards to paper, and sent them through the printer. I had taken pictures of branches tied with string on top. These where the images I printed on the postcards. Then I used Oil Pastel to color the pictures.
The post cards on top had things written on the back. I took a picture of only one of those as an example.
I had no idea what to write on the post cards at this point, and feel they were all cheesy. I only took a picture of this one turned over, as it was the least cheesy.
Thinking of what to write is where this project failed. I couldn’t project myself into the situation to properly channel the words that the people caught in this situation would be feeling.
To completely be forbidden to talk about such a thing must be hard.