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“This is the world in which I move uninvited, profane on a sacred land, neither me nor mine, but me nonetheless. The story began long ago…it is old. Older than my body, my mother’s, my grandmother’s. As old as my me, Old Spontaneous me, the world.”

                                                             ~ Trinh T. Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines AUTOCOLONY as “a daughter colony formed within one of the cells of a colony and duplicating in miniature the parent colony.”  Although a botanist term, when Googling images for “autocolonies”, Rocky Cajigan’s announcement for his current exhibition appears amongst scientific images of asexual reproductive plant organisms. Perhaps this will raise some Botanists’ or other researchers’ eyebrows, compelling them to click on his exhibition announcement and contemplate the numerous metaphors for the definition of autocolony.

The partial image is of a mixed media pseudo-ethnographic costume called “Biorigines lll”. The title, a word-play on “biological”, “original” and “aborigine” is a conundrum. It calls into question whether or not decolonization is attainable. Centuries of resistance to Spanish and American colonialism evolved into self-inflicted recolonization.

For Cajigan, the struggle to oppose or comply teeters on a delicate scale that weighs the strength of indigeneity, the protective lure of institutionalized religion, and subjugation of the spirit. To imagine one’s own rib cage as chained-links exposed and stitched into second-hand worn jackets held together by metal crosses with one’s feet stuck in cement ripping out of leather shoes and fist clinched in anger, one begins to feel the battle against autocolonization.

The desire to free the self from cyclone nets of entrapment and ill-gotten ownership needs no explanation.  Separation from any parent is an arduous endeavor—a journey that some cannot partake in without trepidation, sense of loss and be/longing. Follow the path of Cajigan’s “Fieldnotes”, “From the Beginning” to “From the Ending”.  Reverse your course through the exhibition. Come one step closer to an understanding of salvaging what one artist deems in peril and sacred.

 

Angel Velasco Shaw

 

Works

BIORIGINES I

49 x 37 inches Leather jacket, lambskin, metal hooks and chains, wood, human hair, rattan weaving, acrylic, conch shell, brass sheet, snake bones, fabric, metal crosses, adhesive, washers, acrylic glass 2017

BIORIGINES II

49 x 37 inches Leather jacket, lambskin, metal hooks and chains, wood, human hair, rattan weaving, acrylic, conch shell, brass sheet, snake bones, fabric, metal crosses, adhesive, washers, acrylic glass 2017

BIORIGINES IIII

49 x 37 inches Leather jacket, lambskin, metal hooks and chains, wood, human hair, rattan weaving, acrylic, conch shell, brass sheet, snake bones, fabric, metal crosses, adhesive, washers, acrylic glass 2017

FIELDNOTES I

13 x 19 x 9 inches Notepad cover, carabao horn, pencil on paper, acrylic, metal hooks and chain, brass bells, metal crosses & adhesive 2017

FIELDNOTES II

13 x 19 x 9 inches Notepad cover, carabao horn, pencil on paper, acrylic, metal hooks and chain, brass bells, metal crosses & adhesive 2017

FROM THE BEGINNING

51 x 63 inches Acrylic on canvas, cyclone netting & wood 2017

FROM THE ENDING

51 x 63 inches Acrylic on canvas, cyclone netting & wood 2017

AUTOCOLONIAL SPECIMEN I

12 x 19 x 19 inches Leather shoes, wood, brass sheet, brass bells, Metal crosses, metal hooks and glass, cement, Acrylic, acrylic glass & adhesive 2017

AUTOCOLONIAL SPECIMEN II

12 x 19 x 19 inches Leather shoes, wood, brass sheet, brass bells, Metal crosses, metal hooks and glass, cement, Acrylic, acrylic glass & adhesive 2017

AUTOCOLONIAL SPECIMEN III

12 x 19 x 19 inches Leather shoes, wood, brass sheet, brass bells, Metal crosses, metal hooks and glass, cement, Acrylic, acrylic glass & adhesive 2017

TRADE BODIES I

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES II

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES III

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES IV

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES V

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES VI

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES VII

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES VIII

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES IX

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

TRADE BODIES X

Dimensions Variable Rattan weaving, cement 2017

Documentation