Bay of Smokes Trailer, 2016
A film by Amy Yao
Cinematography: Amy Yao and Rob Kulisek
Music: Lhaga Koondhor (Wifey / Asian Eyez)
VSF is pleased to present Amy Yao’s first solo show at Various Small Fires. Titled Bay of Smokes, the exhibition plays with different forms of contamination. It is a continuation of Yao’s interest in the aesthetics of industrial and domestic spaces from the perspective of access, gender, identity, and the codification of space through form, color, and language.
A suspicion is demanded from the kind of ill advised self-production, unavoidably occurring in biological bodies at sites of material transformation. The resulting contamination is, and has been, the constant – the knowledge of it through data representations is the revelation – the thing perceived as change.
The ability to relocate natural materials inexpensively and efficiently relies on anatamo-politics – the ability to integrate bodies into efficient system. Concurrently this seemingly never ending flow of natural resources has radically transformed how bodies move. Airports and logistics operations require streamlined efficiency without room for disruption. Human bodies and objects both become material to be scanned and identified for the benefit of our “security.” New tools are required for the processing of bodies and materials. With all our devices, what escapes or resists detection and identification?
Yes, This is Rice! But it is made of plastic and it’s spreading across Asia. A media induced outsourcing of fear, displacing equally riveting circumstances of domestic contamination onto foreign bodies abroad. Yet the victims in both cases remain minorities and people of color. Lead contamination near Exide Plant may be worse than previously thought, Boyle Heights, CA, Commerce, CA. Barely a newswire blip, a planned scenario of environmental injustice. Pollution is segregated too, and its obfuscation is a product of racism sublimated, reappearing as nationalism and xenophobia. It is easier to overlook what happens in a dysfunctional home.
Driving from A to B and forgetting most of the journey due to its familiarity - isn’t this condition the most efficient form of biopower? Its mental absentness from the moment at hand? Floating back to the consumeristic induction producing this activity (and its subsequent collective dreaming) ... to a landscape where what we don’t want to remember coalesces with our comfort zone.