Space to Say

Space to Say 

Curated by Francine Almeda

On view March 18th - May 1st, 2022 

Opening Reception: Friday, March 18th 7-11PM

With artists: Yesenia BelloSalvador Dominguez, and Yasmeen Nemett Alla

Space to Say creates a place to collectively reflect on themes of immigration, language (or lack 
thereof) and methods of empathy. Acknowledging the rippling effects of immigration on an individual’s ability to navigate communication, Yesenia Bello, Salvador Dominguez, and Yasmeen Nematt Alla come together to imagine new ways of speaking in place of words. How does one stay connected to a mother tongue while simultaneously undergoing a process of assimilation? What symbols can act in place of words? And what new language is created in place of legible words to communicate who matters to us most?

Bello playfully re-shapes colorful rope and fabric into draping, site-specific installations; Dominguez carefully lifts imprints of familiar places and objects into tiled relief paintings; Nematt Alla graciously invites visitors to take part in an interactive wishing well sculpture. In each of their work, language is reinvented in new spatial and physical forms. Communication is not only understood through words, but also through universally understood symbols and shared experiences. Through these faded letters, re-shaped objects, and traces of landscapes, each artist proposes alternative methods of conveying a message to reach shared understanding.

This exhibition gently understands how the barriers in language as a result of immigration can be sites of loss and grief; but, in turn, reimagines this loss as an opportunity to give birth to a new language. Space to Say is both an exhibition and invitation. Viewers are welcome to take part in this process and imagine their own language - to sit in the gallery and speak new words of care, as individuals and a community. 

*Heaven Gallery's current COVID precautions: masks required at all times (except when actively drinking), hand sanitizer is given upon entry, proof of vaccination is required.