Visual Muze Artist Residency with Mariam Bazeed

West Harlem Art Fund
Governors Island, NY, 2021

Nicholas Rispoli, Nicholas Rispoli Art, Nicholas Rispoli Artist, Nicholas Rispoli Writer, Nicholas Rispoli Drawing, Nicholas Rispoli Painting, Fine Art, collage, mixed media, fine art

I was invited to collaborate with Mariam Bazeed for their project currently titled post-mortem family vacation, which is a multimedia/hybrid work of restorative fiction, with the addition of puppet sculptures that were built during the residency – and will continue to be tampered with, re-built, broken and restored until they’re complete. 

Using the puppets, Mariam will stage and document a family vacation they would take with their parents, who passed away over 26 and 15 years ago respectively. The idea for the project came from the concept of restorative fictions, used as a tool in therapeutic settings to re-imagine, and take some of the sting out of, traumatic events, the theory being that the brain is not smart enough to know which of its firings are fact, and which are fictions, giving even these fabulations the capacity to heal.

The residency was highly experimental, documented (below) with preliminary staged photographs. On our next residency, and when the puppets are completed, Mariam will photograph the puppets to preserve their vacation memories. Mariam’s writing masquerading as diary entries will accompany the photos, eventually making up a vacation family album, which they would then hope to publish as a poetry/hybrid work.