grįžti / return
"Tree Trunk," April 2022, 3 photo strips printed at Walgreens on glossy paper (1.5" x 8"), 1 Lithuanian belt
"Clothes," April 2022, Christian Dior rabbit fur hat, denim jumpsuit from Spanish company made in Turkey, brass necklace dipped in the Ganga River in northern India, Lithuanian belt, Fila sneakers
"Through 2," April 2022, photograph shot on iPhone, 2 way mirror glass, glass marker
In this investigation, I drew ancient Lithuanian paganism symbols onto 2 way mirror glass reflecting the ancestral and stolen lands of the Ohlone people, where I live. The symbols I drew are how I have doodled since I was a child, and recently I learned they are sacred to Lithuanian paganism. In this project, I asked how bringing my ancestral practices of relating to the earth might facilitate an opening toward healing and recalibration. With the mirror and the second photography angle behind the mirror, I held space for hypothetical spectators to view my process of meaning-making, simultaneously holding space for other viewpoints of this process, including deeming my meaning-making irrelevant and/or harmful. The second camera angle, through the mirror, “observing” my process from a viewpoint other than from my original stance, represents the truth that white people’s journeys into cultural practices can impact the collective and they can also create zero impact/meaning for individuals beyond themselves.
The specific plot of land I stood on during this exploration is currently owned by a white-presenting man and has been lovingly tended to for over 40 years by my neighbor, who is Black, from North Carolina, and the tenant in the unit next to mine.
"Altar," April 2022, 6 photo strips printed at Walgreens on glossy paper (1.5" x 8"), 2 candles, 4 flowers from garden, 7 rocks, 1 Lithuanian belt
Both the altar and the temporary placement of the photo strips into the tree bark are devotional offerings of my exploration to nature and to this land in particular.
My ancestors performed rituals at the base of trees in the dense forests of Lithuania. The bottom of the tree is a sacred location in my culture. In Lithuanian paganism, to heal something you put it in a tree. For injured arms to fully heal, you find a tree with a hole in it and put the arm inside the hole as part of the healing process. With this in mind, in an attempt to announce, frame, and bless my intentions for a process of healing, I placed the photos of me connecting with my ancestral heritage and experimenting with destroying whiteness through reappropriation into the tree. As for the altar, I made sure to place two gem stones in the hole of the tree as a layer of the altar, feeling into this practice of tree holes as sites of healing, and creating an offering to the land and any spirits of this land who want to receive my offering.
"Fridge," April 2022, 6 photo strips printed at Walgreens on glossy paper (1.5" x 8") on fridge in artist's kitchen
As for the clothes, I have always loved clothes. I am a child of New York City. I've been taught by the yoga community I'm part of that clothing can be an important layer to showing up fully to transformation rituals.
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