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VITRINE: Atmospheric Arrivals, A Study in Autopoetic Imagemaking 

By Ayo Tsalithaba

June 3 – July 25 2022

Atmospheric Arrivals is a living multimedia archival project and polytemporal memory bank. I forge a unique and dynamic practice of return through active memory and revisiting my personal archive.

Atmospheric Arrivals is about home and the (im)possibility of return. The “atmospheric arrival” captures a means of coming into being through memory and imagination; by reaching across spacetimes to “fetch” parts of the self that may exist in elsewheres. 

To attend to the “atmospheric” denotes the practice of active presence in and across spatial temporalities. The “atmospheric” is a way for me to imagine. It allows me to be aware of the present while gesturing towards multiple futures and pasts in order to carve out a space (even artistically) where my being is holistically possible. I use atmospheric here in a few ways, but it emerged (for me) out of a discussion about Sylvia Wynter and the “Third Event” or the “Great Leap” in a class that I took in the fall of 2020 (Alagraa, 2018; Wynter, 2015). I engaged with this work alongside Christina Sharpe’s writing about black public image-making in In the Wake: On Blackness and Being and others that informed the way that I think about my mode of autopoetic imagemaking.

This is a project that is constantly evolving. The current iteration of Atmospheric Arrivals includes a revisiting of “Cut/To” an autoethnographic photo series from 2019 about home in transition. 

By slightly altering each version of Atmospheric Arrivals, I am extending the fuzziness of the audience’s memory of the work. 

References :

Alagraa, B. (2018). Homo Narrans and the Science of the Word: Toward a Caribbean Radical Imagination. Critical Ethnic Studies, 4(2), 164–181. 

Wynter, S. (2015). The Ceremony Found: Towards the Autopoetic Turn/Overturn, its Autonomy of Human Agency and Extraterritoriality of (Self-)Cognition. In Black Knowledges/Black Struggles: Essays in Critical Epistemology. Liverpool University Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1gn6bfp.12

Biographies

Ayo Tsalithaba

Ayo Tsalithaba, is a visual artist, writer and researcher currently based in Toronto and originally from Ghana and Lesotho. Their work explores questions of home, (in)visibility, liminality and (un)belonging as they relate to Black queer and trans* African diasporic subjects.