So my part of the exhibition Margot and I are calling "If" has been done: I provided the words, most of them. But not all. If you come to the exhibition, you may, if you look hard enough, find words written or composed not just by me but by any one of our family, the living or the dead. We are re-assembling the elements of a house that was taken from us, and fighting that addiction to destruction that we Bahamians have begun practising daily.Margot's part is construction. And here is where the two parts meet: we get to write my words on her walls. This is what we did today, with a little help from the next generation: thanks, Christi![metaslider id=3607]
In February 2005, I drove past my grandmother’s house on East Bay Street to find a bulldozer sitting on top of it.
We had not booked any bulldozer. We had no intention of demolishing the house. My cousin Margot and I had in fact begun the long, slow process of renovation. The house had been demolished “by accident”. It is an accident that will never be repaired.
My cousin Margot Bethel and I are creating an installation that weaves words and images, poems, plans and models, to commemorate, to reincarnate, the house that was destroyed. We call the exhibition “If”, in part because that little word expresses longing, wishfulness, hope and regret. It was also used by our family as a means of expressing emphatic agreement, as in: “Did it hurt?” “If!” or “Did you look fabulous?” “If!”
We see it as the beginning of a long-term project of reclamation.
The Granddaughter Fixes Lily's Roof (1988)picture now a tall girla bald girlnonot quite bald a blondblack girl who’sjust come home &just come outwho’smade herself a carpenter &’sfixing Lily’s roofnot the tall roofnot the roof of the houseraised high on blockswith four feet of spacebeneath its floor it'sthe roof next doorto the shop whereLily sold bread & Lilysold candy& Clement taught piano& all the childrenplayed just once*transformingspaces | National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.
[easy-media med="3247"]I took the morning tour. I could write about it, but pictures are worth ... well, you know. Check out the gallery above.