Stuart Keeler | Heard Said
April 3-May 31, 2001
Head Said is a sound and visual experience of language and immigration. Ranging from compacted thought forms held within the air of Ellis Island, ambient walks in Prague’s Jewish cemetery, an INS queue of 30 people at six o’clock AM, to the Ebonics of a first generation Ethiopian, Stuart Keeler seeks to create a composite portrait of immigration.
The humming frantic rhythm and chorus of the urban realm, the white noise of the worlds city experience. Ambient abstractions of world language tie American world culture together. The immigrant’s experience of INS democracy context is fascinating, as much as it sometimes operates on the other side of the looking glass of Our American Democracy. In this work, the thread of immigration and arrival in “My country tis of thee” – is personal, private and anonymous.
Removing the body, the voice and every audible nuance, pause and pitch become soul catalysts – language and voice are the portrait of an anonymous native speaker. Keeler asks the observer to challenge assumptions of identity and belonging, to witness another, caught between two identities. Anonymity allows that which is heard/said to find our own sense of removal and bind us to singularity.