2006 - 2009
List of 250 papers pieces
8 in x 8 in = 20.32 cm x 20.32 cm
List of 4 fabric pieces
25 in x 177.5 in = 63.5 cm x 222.25 cm

List of 150 canvas pieces

16 in x 16 in = 41 cm x 41 cm

Delirium is an installation that speaks to intersecting routes of dispersal of people around the globe. It commemorates the struggle of refugees, immigrants, and other diaspora populations as they cross borders into new lands. It celebrates their resilience and their ability to overcome the boundedness of cultures and identities, despite surveillance at checkpoints and border control, the complex struggles for passports, visas, and other papers, and the ongoing demands for fingerprints and other physical “evidence” of one’s identity.

The installation of fingerprints here are part of over 400 stamps collected from people of African, Middle Eastern, Asian, European, and American backgrounds. The genealogy of each fingerprint, however, transcends the geography of their continental locales. The colors used for painting over the fingerprints are inspired by the different skin tones that people in different locations use to identify themselves or to racialize others, such as using the skin color red, brown, wheat, yellow, green, blue-black (in Sudan), or white-black-yellow (in America). The black and white canvases contrast with these subtle colorations to symbolize the fundamental simplicity of the human condition: in their lack of color, they serve as symbols for a unified humanity that is without separation based upon identity.  This simplicity grounded in universality opposes the divisive reductiveness of census, travel, and other documents that ask respondents to check boxes marked “Black” and “White” to describe themselves. The canvases themselves illuminate the deceptiveness of such racial categories, in that what we are seeing is in fact not color but texture: the black swirls on the canvases are made by the texture of the finger, and the white areas are only spaces, indentations on the skin that give shape to the form of the print, a blankness that represents only the color of the canvas chosen to print the work. Despite the variations in color, texture, and medium among these fingerprints, their similarities lie in their humanness, yet also speak of unsettled differences.