Phantom Limb: Headlands Center for the Arts 2022 Graduate Fellowship Exhibition
Organized by curator Naz Cuguoğlu, and featuring work by Headlands’ 2021-22 Graduate Fellows, representing six MFA programs from around the Bay Area:
Kristen Wong (San Francisco State University)
Ebtihal Shedid (California College of the Arts)
champoy (UC Berkeley)
Sylvia Hughes-Gonzales (Mills College)
Mercy Hawkins (UC Davis)
Brett Amory (Stanford University)
From the curator:
And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be / Are full of trees and changing leaves.
– Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927)
It is true that grief takes many different forms — a living organism that shapeshifts, multiplies, and tunnels through time. With a labyrinthine temporality, as matter gets deformed and memories get distorted, one’s experience is an ongoing loss, a surpassing disaster. Phantom Limb is about the rituals of collective mourning, in the form of flowers turning into dust in the middle of a sidewalk. It is also about poetics and fragility of space while looking through a window in Egypt or California and wondering where home is. It is an invitation for empathy and to take courage to look at the mirror with the disruption of appearances inherent within its very own form. Fragmented and broken into pieces, it is an alien-galaxy full of otherworldly masks and plants, a tool for healing, a painful but beautiful decay, and a possibility for an after-life as nature regenerates. It is about what it feels to be alive right now in this moment, an invitation to feel the air and the wind and to meditate on the interconnectedness of everything. The phantoms of the loved ones are in the room, and you can still feel the pain though the limb is long gone — and the journey to the lighthouse continues slowly but surely.