Migration and Material Alchemy

Poetry, translation, and materiality are foregrounded in this selection of works by contemporary artists from around the globe. These artists present subjects and materials in states of transition to contend with issues of urgent social concern, including political upheaval, environmental degradation, displaced populations, and the AIDS crisis. Working from positions of personal or political vulnerability, they provide a human context for issues of immense scope and imbue humble materials with spiritual or metaphorical resonance. In this way, alchemy, as it describes the migration from one state of being to another, provides the conceptual axis for this installation. Each of the works on view captures a moment of physical or metaphysical transformation and highlights this shifting, indeterminate condition as one of simultaneous vulnerability and powerful potential.

Migration and Material Alchemy is part of a community-wide initiative that explores the theme of migration through myriad lenses. In celebration of the fiftieth year of the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, this installation features artists from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Peru.