Dozens of names woven in white thread appear at the surface of four black carpets, in homage to those that were enslaved at the Drayton Hall plantation in South Carolina, United States. A symbol of the weavers’ arduous work and of the enslaved peoples’ labor, the carpets, through their ability to be moved, bent, or flattened, echo the maltreated bodies of the plantation workers. The carpet, according to art historian Sergio Bettini the “house of the one who has no house,” is for Kimsooja a heterotopic space. It is a place that is both bounded and multiple, at once a dwelling, a stela, and a site of commemoration.
Shown for the first time as a complete installation in Kanaal's Terrace Gallery, Planted Names will dialogue with the video work Bottari - Alfa Beach, recorded in 2001 on the Nigerian coast where enslaved people were traded and deported for unknown horizons; and with the installation Bottari, bundled textiles reminiscent of displacement and migration. According to Kimsooja, “homeland is not a topographically definable place, but a state of consciousness and belonging.”