Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Immigrant Songs 

"Once Removed"

Wednesday, Mar 22 2000
Part of our national identity arises from the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans come from elsewhere, but it's the first-generation immigrants whose experiences most significantly contribute to this idea, while later generations forget the words to their parents' and grandparents' stories. As the immigrant leaves one "home" for another -- sometimes willingly, sometimes otherwise -- identity and allegiance can become constant psychological issues.

Three artists -- Gaye Chan, Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui, and Jenny Perlin -- meditate on exile and the duality of the immigrant's experience in S.F. Camerawork's newest exhibition, "Once Removed." Chan, a "settler immigrant" to Hawaii, touches on how assimilation to a new culture delivers the death blow to memory and history in her installation Points of Departure. Using immigrant narratives as a touchstone, Chan explores the unique position she and many other non-native residents of our 50th state occupy as both colonizers and the colonized. Ordoqui's photography series Banishments examines his own exile from Cuba, his alienation and inability to reconcile the present with memories of the past. Finally, Perlin's installation Crossing Borders (for Walter Benjamin) revisits the cultural critic's flight from Nazi Germany and his suicide as he believed his captors neared. Perlin draws together film, sacred objects, and a fractured text of Benjamin's failed escape through Spain in her memoir of his final exit.

An opening reception for "Once Removed" will be held Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (the exhibition runs through May 6) at S.F. Camerawork, 115 Natoma (near New Montgomery), S.F. Admission is free; call 764-1001. Gaye Chan lectures on her work and her exploration of immigrant narratives on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.; admission is $4-6.

About The Author

Todd Dayton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"