Mariquita “Micki” Davis: Pacific Concrete
Pacific Concrete presents photo-based works by Mariquita “Micki” Davis, a Chamoru multimedia artist and educator based in Los Angeles. Stemming from both the personal (her role as keeper of the family archive) and the public (the 2017 North Korean Missile Crisis), her work interrogates Guåhan (Guam) as a geo-political location while celebrating Pacific Islander culture and identity. Davis notes that when Kim Jong Un’s government was actively testing missiles over foreign waters, US leaders on the continent assured their constituents that they would be safe should the missiles launch, because they would be aimed “in the Pacific.” The artist was “deeply troubled by the vagueness of this mark, as though the destination had no form, no life, as though Guåhan was nothing more than a military target.” Through both thoughtful pathos and critical humor, her resulting photos, performances and installations provide a specific perspective that translates an abstract notion of oceanic space into a tangible, “concrete” experience.
For the Index Gallery exhibition, Davis’ lens-based works mingle with material artifacts including fabrics, clothing, and decorative relics which the artist’s grandparents used for large-scale altar pieces and celebrations. This complicated, vibrant narrative around ancestral relationships, politics and objecthood includes a performance and a public talk by the artist during her short residency at the University of Dayton.
Mariquita “Micki” Davis, Taotaomo’na Path, 2018. 35mm film, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist