Mar 18th 2022

Space to Say

@ Heaven Gallery

1550 N Milwaukee Ave, Second Floor, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Friday, March 18th, from 7PM - 11PM

On view through Sunday, May 1st

Space to Say

Opening: Friday, March 18th 7-11PM

Curated by Francine Almeda
Artists: Yesenia Bello, Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Salvador Dominguez

Space to Say creates a place to collectively reflect on themes of immigration, language (or lack thereof) and methods of empathy. Acknowledging the rippling effects of immigration on an individual’s ability to navigate communication, Yesenia Bello, Salvador Dominguez, and Yasmeen Nematt Alla come together to imagine new ways of speaking in place of words. How does one stay connected to a mother tongue while simultaneously undergoing a process of assimilation? What symbols can act in place of words? And what new language is created in place of legible words to communicate who matters to us most?

Bello playfully re-shapes colorful rope and fabric into draping, site-specific installations; Dominguez carefully lifts imprints of familiar places and objects into tiled relief paintings; Nematt Alla graciously invites visitors to take part in an interactive wishing well sculpture. In each of their work, language is reinvented in new spatial and physical forms. Communication is not only understood through words, but also through universally understood symbols and shared experiences. Through these faded letters, re-shaped objects, and traces of landscapes, each artist proposes alternative methods of conveying a message to reach shared understanding.

This exhibition gently understands how the barriers in language as a result of immigration can be sites of loss and grief; but, in turn, reimagines this loss as an opportunity to give birth to a new language. Space to Say is both an exhibition and invitation. Viewers are welcome to take part in this process and imagine their own language – to sit in the gallery and speak new words of care, as individuals and a community.

On view March 18 – 11PM during regular gallery hours:
Friday/Saturday 1-6PM, Sunday 1-5PM

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