It’s a Small World After All is a collaborative project between Arzu Arda Kosar and five students from the Loyola Marymount University that consists of a collective map of “our” world along with a personal piece by each member of the team that further elaborates on their personal “world”.
The 12’x12’ map collage marks all of the places that hold a significance for us. Having looked at maps representing terra cognita vs. terra incognita, the mythical Island of California, the Mercator projection vs Peter’s map, the corrective map of Austria, as well as Joaquín Torres-García’s Upsidedown Map, the Surrealist Map of the World, Guy Debord’s Psychogeographic guide of Paris and so forth, ours is a map that embraces the subjective nature of cartography. “It’s A Small World After All” is an unabashedly self-centered map of where we’re coming from, literally and figuratively.
We put the places that are significant to our group of six on our global map and denied the existence of “others”. Even though we tried to juxtapose our locations true to cardinal point relations, due to scale distortion Southern California takes up about one quarter of our world map and an enormous island of Cuba is located directly under Istanbul, Turkey. Our map has no Asia, Africa, Australia or Antarctica. In the void that marks their absence, there are green pieces of fabric randomly affixed to wherever they fell, acknowledging our lack of connection to entire continents in the world.
We also expand on our global map with individual pieces that further delve into and reveal our personal worlds.
Ghosts of the Past and Present by Nadia Paredes
For the collective map collage, Nadia painted a decidedly kitschy map of Mexico with all the stereotypes associated with it and an enlarged map of Mexico City made out of actual local newspaper headlines mixed with fake headlines that tell stories about her own life, thus juxtaposing newsworthy vs. frivolous and constructions vs. reality. In an effort to let go of her past life in her old hometown (Mexico City) and embrace her new life here in California and the United States, she created A Day of the Dead Altar dedicated to her own life. In Mexican tradition, the Día de los Muertos altar is usually dedicated to loved ones who have already gone to a better place, but that are supposed to be visiting between the 1st and 2nd of November.
“Postscript” by Erin Mallea:
Erin painted and drew descriptive images for the map collage where images such as a sandy landscape, an often travelled route or a backyard with an above grand swimming pool standing on for an entire city or even state. In relationship to the collaborative map, she created a series of handmade postcards. Each postcard correlates to specific location on the map and the experiences I associate with that particular geography. Postcards, in general are not objective representations of a particular place. Erin wanted to reiterate this theme of subjectivity central to the group collaboration. The postcards present either a drawing from memory or personal photographs and text in order to illustrate how she understands herself and personal history in relation to her environment.
Self Portrait with Yarn by Jacob Riggle :
Jason started out by collecting 100’s of images from his childhood up to present day, akin to images of one’s life flashing in front of their eyes. . He then located and cut out the sites of his memories on a printed map. Once the collective map was put together, he extended strings out of each point of personal significance on the map to a 3-D self portrait, all of the strings converging and wrapping around the head. For the final presentation, he put a media player inside his head, visible through an opening in his mouth so that the audience could take a look inside his head and view the images that come out of his mouth.
El Mar Adentro by Maria Fuster
Maria’s work is about the unconscious and how, through the creative process, we are able to tap into the mysteries and darkness of our “unconscious sea” to find wisdom and knowledge and begin to understand where we came from and prepare for our journey ahead.
The tank of seaweed and seawater are not only symbolic of the “amniotic fluid” of our beginnings, but it is also the unconscious within us where we keep hidden those memories and experiences from our past. The sacks of sand wrapped in burlap above the tank are the “psychological” baggage that we carry around with us, constantly reminding us of our folly. Each bag represents the physical, emotional and the memories that our bodies store. As time progresses, the sand trickles into the tank of seaweed, just as our visceral and psychological experiences get stored into our unconscious.
From 0 to 21 by Stephanie Argueta
A proud native of Los Angeles, Stephanie Argueta has depicted different locations in the city that have shaped her identity. 5 canvases are connected to symbolize the stages of her life, as well as the significance of each location to who she is today. Venice Blvd is the central similarity in these pieces, as her life has circulated around the same streets during her upbringing. But every piece brings a unique message as well, each conveying distinct experiences according to what stage in her life you are considering. Looking more closely, you can also pick up on small details that fill these pieces with iconography.
It's A Small World After All
18th St. Artnight
Piecing together the collective map