Shelf installation full collaboration with Tiffany Tran at Anytime Dept. in Cincinnati, Ohio
In Not For Sale, Noel Maghathe, a mixed Palestinian American artist, and Tiffany Tran, a Vietnamese American artist, exhibit both collaborative and individual works that intimately expose us to their cultural identities. Ranging from sculptural work to performance, the show makes space for conversations on representation and the collision of past and present.
Maghathe utilizes temperature and performance to generate a series of real and fabricated moments in an attempt to understand a deep seated sense of longing for their country, past memories, and personal clarity. Maghathe deals with confusion about where personal history and the present-self converge.Their practice engages these ideas through personal symbolism, reflecting on being denied access to something (memories integral to identity formation) so precious to them.
Tran’s work presents to the viewer an enlargement of material reality. Her practice attempts to push against the commodification of Vietnamese culture by focusing on where the lines blur between real and fictional identities. This is a fallacy because she has only lived the experience of an American born Vietnamese, and therefore can only shift the assumed and material narratives of cultural objects and imagery. With an unreliable memory she attempts to confront invisibility - of immigrant labor, the last traces of a mother tongue, and the meaning of a first language. She likens the experience to the transactional exchanges of a nail salon - when the worth becomes the work, materiality and meaning drift from each other, like two buoys connected by fishing line, drifting and floating, a little closer, a little farther, continuously.