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ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street, between Clinton & Suffolk, 212-254-3697
East Village / Lower East Side
October 2 - October 29, 2008
Reception: Thursday, October 2, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Artists: Meg Escudé, Akiko Ichikawa, Jayson Keeling, Rahul Saggar, Martina Secondo, Chanika Svetvilas, Vandana Jain

In Homecoming, seven artists who were born in the United States or immigrated as children explore the themes of migration, ancestry and returning to their parental homeland. Meg Escudé traveled to her father’s homeland of Argentina where she discovers the Italian-Brazilian circus, Circo Orlando Orfei, one of the oldest and most traditional of the circuses that still travel throughout Latin America. Living nomadically with the circus enabled her to recreate her idea of self without nationality and to be at home wherever a door was opened to her.

Having grown up in the suburbs of Nashville and Wellesley, Akiko Ichikawa returned to Japan as an adult, reconnecting with her culture and the familiarity she’d lost through documenting the quotidian aspects of contemporary Japanese life. Through roughly collaged images, Jayson Keeling explores his relationship to his culturally and spiritually disconnected homeland of Jamaica. In “I Wish I Was White,” Rahul Saggar explores concepts of skin color, acceptance, belonging and matrimonial prospects both here and in his parents’ home country of India.

While visiting her grandmother in Genova, Martina Secondo discovered a box of photographs her grandfather took as a soldier in Italy’s “Operation Barbarossa” campaign against Russia during World War II. Through reprinting these images, Secondo reconnects with the grandfather she never knew and rediscovers her roots. Utilizing Campbell’s soup cans, bean sprouts and coconut milk, Chanika Svetvilas challenges our perception of what constitutes American and what is considered “other.” After spending countless childhood summers visiting her extended family in Madhya Pradseh, Vandana Jain returned as an adult. Her images show the layering of religion, iconography and pattern in a way that felt extremely familiar.
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