project

Ken Gonzales-Day included "In this place where the guest rests" at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT



Jan 20 2018 - May 13 2018


LOCATION

Franklin Street Works
45 Franklin Street
Stamford, CT

The history of Stamford inspired the curatorial concept for In this place where the guest rests. Though less well-known, Stamford held its own witch trials in the late 17th century. As in Salem, MA, the accused were subjected to the water test, wherein they were stripped and bound and thrown into a body of water. The rationale for this method of interrogation was that water was so pure an element that it would repel the guilty. Ordeal by water is a test impossible to pass: the “innocent” would drown and the “guilty” would float to the surface, only to be subject to punishment for their alleged crimes. Here, we can see similarities to a contemporary double bind, the ordeal by water faced by one million Syrian refugees, displaced from their homeland by war and forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea in terrible conditions upon unseaworthy vessels. Drowning is common, and those who survive the passage find themselves subject to increasingly hostile European publics and governments.

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