Our collaborative practice redefines the visual experience as a physical, experiential one, through the medium of immersive, interactive installation. It is an inter-discursive endeavour located in the gaps between history and storytelling, and draws from archival texts, sociological conventions, oral histories, postmodern theory and postcolonial studies.
Through our work, we examine power and privilege in the United States, and its relationship with image, and appearance. Topically, we are influenced by the experiences of early twentieth century Bengali sailors who immigrated into the United States by passing as Black men, and use this as an allegory for relating contemporary non-white immigrant experiences, and looking critically at Americana, identity and related iconographic mythos. We look to postcolonial theory towards redefining the canon and the representation of the Other, and employ parafiction to challenge the so-called official repositories of truth, and defy divisive and reductive impositions of control.
Our installations are typically site specific constructions, and include video, audio, painting, printmaking, photography and sculptural elements. It is important that individual components within the installations both complement and contradict one another, highlighting the in-betweenness of lived experience; the gaps between truth and fiction. From a structural standpoint, we are influenced by exhibition design where physical space is manipulated to emphasize a narrative, for instance, how the lowered ceiling at the National Museum of African American History & Culture evokes claustrophobia and physically influences the audience’s experience within.
Recent exhibitions include Pigeonhole: The Life and Work of Bobby Alam, Knockdown Center (2019), Pigeonhole, Dodd Galleries, University of Georgia (2019), Sunroom Project Space: Paradise, Wave Hill (2018), How to see in the dark, Cuchifritos Gallery (2018), In Practice: Another Echo, Sculpture Center (2018), Loving Blackness, Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia (2017). Residencies include Artist Studio Program, Smack Mellon (2018) and AIRspace, Abrons Arts Center (2018). Marshall and Dasgupta are recipients of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) for 2019-2020.