Nothing to See Here
Thread on textile on wooden stretchers
The series, Nothing to See Here, builds on two previous projects; sewn drawings of outlines of pregnant human figures on watercolor paper and the Occultente project, sculptures of tents sewn from blackout fabric. In the present body of work, I sewed line drawings of scenes of migrant border crossings in black thread on scraps of textiles leftover from the tents. The textiles are presented on individual wooden stretchers and can be shown individually or in groups.
Created in response to the Trump administration’s family separation policy in 2018, the sewn drawings depict places of crossing as well as immigrant detention centers and camps housing Latin American immigrants in the US and African and Middle Eastern Migrants in Europe (particularly detention facilities involving child migrant detainees). The images themselves come from publicly available press photographs published in print and online. Some depict buildings that house migrants on a temporary or long-term basis, others feature anonymous individuals or groups of people at various scales of magnification.
The images are alternately visible and totally opaque, depending on the angle at which light hits the black-on-black threaded drawings on fabric.
The title refers to the ironic expression and police phrase, “nothing to see here move along,” which is often said to a crowd of people that have collected at the scene of an accident or crime and who the officer wishes to disperse without communicating the cause of the crime or accident. It is a sarcastic commentary on ongoing Western public attitudes towards poor refugees and migrants trapped in degrading conditions at the borders of wealthy countries.
Kasia Ozga, Nothing to See Here, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist
Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.