Am I Wanted Here? By Whom?
2019 - 2021
Project with Alexandra Kollárová, anthropologist
Khayma, seffa, henna, handmade quilt, hand embroidered map, audio
Am I Wanted Here? By Whom? follows earlier artistic output that was designed as experimental fieldwork in situ carried out in Southern Morocco. It represents selected reminiscences fabricated into a hand-sewn quilt, an embroidered map of the oasis of Tighmert and a sound recording of a maarouf, a celebratory gathering of women organized around the project.
Despite the limited time, Van Dyck and anthropologist Anzid Kollárová subverted the classical understanding of the visible and known terrain of the oasis of Tighmert which is traditionally occupied by men. Moreover, they questioned the often omitted ethical approach of artistic collaborations in a post-colonial context. Van Dyck and Anzid Kollárová penetrated private households dominated by women to primarily establish relationships and shape understandings.
Despite the very fact that the final material output came into being — Am I Wanted Here? By Whom? (originally Khayma, a collectively stitched tent under which women gather for various liminal occasions) was not meant to be showcased out of its very context. As the artist notes: 'Am I Wanted Here? By Whom? served the specific experience of bringing together the women of the oasis, and a gathering took place by following their lead, and such isn't transmittable. If I would consider to showcase it out of the very field, it is to be collectively discussed.' Nevertheless, the artist invites the public to rethink and reimagine the territory under the attempts of ethical cultural appropriation by hand quilting and visually rearranging fragments of the field.
Am I Wanted Here? By Whom? was initiated during Caravan Tighmert , a cultural laboratory in the oasis of Tighmert.
Read 'On Representation, Cultural Appropriation and the Ethics of Artistic Collaborations in the Postcolonial Context of Morocco' written by Alexandra Kollarova, published in The Journal of Culture vol. 9 / No 1 / 2020 Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University.
P 43-45: The Khayma Project