Displacement

Def. (alt) the occupation by a submerged body or part of a body of a volume that would otherwise be occupied by a fluid.

I have always had an awkward relationship with my surroundings—not just with people, but also with my immediate physical environment. This underlying feeling of being “placed” into my immediate environment, as opposed to being “of” it, has always informed the way I view and construct the world and my place within it.

I suppose that, from a philosophical point of view, the term that would be closest to this would be “alienation.” But this would be too strong a word, and would miss, even if by a few degrees, what displacement means in my work.

To me, alienation, by its very nature, transforms an artist’s relationship with his or her immediate physical/relational/psychic surroundings into one of a disengaged observer and judge.  It excuses the artist from being fully in a situation, moment, or space, and relegates his or her work to being a documentation/commentary or philosophical/political judgment of an experience, rather than an expression of the experience itself.

Displacement, on the other hand, is something that is fully immersed in its environment, and exists only by virtue of its relation to and within it. This aesthetic and conceptual tension is what I aim to express in my work.

Jonathan Macagba
January 13, 2013