The Murthy Agora (Studio 129) at the Rubenstein Arts Center 2020 Campus Dr Durham,
What does it mean to know your place? What if you can’t find it? What if you were displaced, and time has erased your traces, while traces of the place you left behind persist within you? Can you preserve memories –and attempt to heal the damage they represent – only by selectively undoing and repurposing them?
What does it mean to make a place for yourself and for the people you love? How do you reconcile where you came from, where you are, and where you may go next? Can you unravel the painful entanglements of the past and fashion them into a workable, even beautiful present? Can you delight in the ephemerality of the present, knowing that it too will disintegrate, and offer its emergent fragments to an unknowable future?
Is it possible to find your place only by embracing perpetual change, by submitting to a state of flux? What if belonging is a never–ending process rather than a fixed state, an act of expectant hospitality, a continuous labor of fashioning a future in which you will be welcome?
This multi–media installation is a return to left–behind places from childhood, as seen through the removed gaze of an emigrant. A reflection on belonging, as seen by someone without roots. A meditation on building a future, from the perspective of a mother who does not know her place.
Marie-Louise Bennett is a multi-disciplinary visual artist from South Africa and southern Appalachia. Her practice is concerned with memory, childhood, motherhood, immigration, alterity, the natural environment, and future-building.