3.04a But what if I’m not my selfie?

Devin Alejandro-Wilder

 

But what if I'm not my selfie?
mixed media 
11.5 ft x 13.5 ft
2019

 

+ On the Process

"If the body was the root – the echoes of the displaced gunshots were the ghosts that led me from it. Looking at the streets of the neighborhood I lived in for four years prior to this, I was reminded of how I was recently told that the police shot and killed a young man at the bottom of the street where my partner and I live now in the next town over. Six bullets became one with his body while his blood marked a temporary headstone for his fiancé to grieve over the next day. I could hear my mother’s voice telling a younger version of myself that she grew up in a neighborhood where she could hear those telltale sounds of death ring throughout the night like a steel gavel that never stops.

When looking at work that features the body on display, I am consistently challenged by the notion of one’s body as the site. Because what if one cannot so effortlessly be their body? What if it is considered vulgar? What if it’s not considered at all?

What if I’ve never been this ready, but you still are not? What if you never will be?

I can feel everyone wanting my body all of the time. Their greedy eyes try to strip my chest and my groin and my waist while they wait for me to speak so my body outs itself. I don’t know what they want, but I know they want it. Friends. Bosses. Partners. Roommates. Coworkers. Strangers. Competition. Everyone wants a slice. They want to fuck it. They want to photograph it. They want it to disappear. They want me to stand here; they want me to stand there. They want me to hold this, they want move that or they don’t want me here at all. They want me to show up or they want me to stay at home, they want me on time or they want me two minutes late. They want me to be present or they want me to be nowhere. But what will they do when I refuse to give it to them?

Because while everyone wants my body - that makes everyone but me."

+ On the Whole

"In viewing the project as a whole, I was curious to observe how the two ‘paths’ within the work compared in subject, media, and mood- as they flowed parallel to each other but both from the same first mouth. As I witnessed the contrasting and complimentary images throughout the issue, I found myself surprised by the literal interpretations of the word ‘root’. Having received work that appeared to be exploring a more abstract or conceptual translation of the word and feeling naturally compelled to do the same, I found that this process of de- and reconstruction only reinforced and pushed that impulse.

While I was completely consumed in my creation process amongst snapshots of dogwood, the low hum of my projector, and wet gold paint, I admit that I did not consider how my piece would be received or what would come after. Seeing what did, I was grateful for the continuation of putting the disembodied on display. And reading what was written, from the translator who felt his gaze leaning on the torso for clues, I wonder what he would say if he knew that I barely understand this language either. In learning to speak – the echoes inform. Though it was the shortest amount of words given of any response, I was grateful for every one."

 
Devin Alejandro-Wilder

Devin Alejandro-Wilder is a Mexican-American working visual artist who manipulates a vast array of interdisciplinary media to build large-scale, non-permanent & often site-specific sculpture and installation. Being born deaf, queer, and identifying as non-binary, their work often manifests from the tender and complex intersections of inherited and lived experiences. With materials ranging from wood, monofilament, and text, to projection, computer software and screen-printing, Alejandro-Wilder explores and adapts a wide range of technical skills to access and manipulate whatever media or materials that are best suited to convey the concepts at hand. Leaning heavily on open source education, intimate conversation, and community resources to further inform their practice, Alejandro-Wilder desires to create work that challenges the public to think critically and abruptly about American society, their individual place in it, and how their actions affect the lives of those around them. While the materials and processes in their pursuit of this vary greatly, they often find themself fascinated by the power of illusion to reveal and the magnificent influence of repetition, sound, pattern, and words- both spoken and written down. Today, Alejandro-Wilder can be found cooking for local restaurants, pursuing curatorial studies, and making new interdisciplinary work out of their independent studio in Winooski, VT.