Patterns for Diaspora is an exploration of adornment, ornamentation, and the meaning found within repeatable patterns. This work is a kind of post-minimalist celebration of embellishments. As minimalist art tends to remove all traces of decoration in search of some formal purity, I want to take the opposite approach and work with patterns as elemental designs, complete in and of themselves.
I’m interested in exploring the way particular geometric arrangements can become emblematic of a given people or place. Scottish tartans, for example, can signify membership in a specific family, and various emblems often relate to distinct cultures. What does this mean today for people who have histories full of displacement, mobility, and change? I want to create new patterns specifically for members of diasporic communities, designs that are not linked to any given physical location but rather symbolic of complex layers of identity.
Modernist Adolf Loos famously compared ornamentation to crime in his 1908 essay on the topic. His perspective is thinly-veiled racism, an attempt to describe an ideal expression that removes all traces of marginal cultures. My project is an effort to defy this position by embracing the ornamental and creating forms that are not universal but imbued with the spirit of anyone who is a member of a diaspora.
— A.P. Vague
Roman Susan Art Foundation is a nonprofit art space and platform for exhibitions and events in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Roman Susan develops and supports new opportunities to create, display, and experience art. For more info, please visit romansusan.org.
A. P. Vague is a Chicago multimedia artist whose work explores long-distance communication and experimental collaboration. For additional information, apvague.wordpress.com.
For further info: romansusan.org/patterns-for-diaspora or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Images: Patterns for Diaspora (2022) courtesy of A. P. Vague