be afraid only of standing still
       
     
2 walk exit alley Colleen.jpg
       
     
3 walk down steps canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
4 kneel water pump AKwan.JPG
       
     
5 kneel water buggy AKwan.JPG
       
     
6 bend post Colleen.jpg
       
     
7 walk mid shot YunTeng sm.jpg
       
     
8 kneel waters edge Colleen.jpg
       
     
9 bend mugs YunTeng.jpg
       
     
10 kneel alley AKwan.JPG
       
     
11 bend well AKwan.JPG
       
     
12 kneel grand canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
13 stand audience surround Colleen.jpg
       
     
14 text hand bridge rail AKwan.JPG
       
     
15 text on wall canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
16 text in moss canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
17 text in stone hole AKwan.JPG
       
     
18 text metal grate AKwan.JPG
       
     
19 text in waterfront AKwan.JPG
       
     
20 walk alley AKwan.JPG
       
     
be afraid only of standing still
       
     
be afraid only of standing still

duration: 2 hours
"MAP1: Waterways"; Diaspora Pavilion; Venice, Italy. 2017


Be afraid only of standing still places alongside each other, text fragments of my grandmothers' dramatic escape from communist China, and of Marco Polo's deadpan narrative of his trek from Beijing through Southeast Asia.

My 98-year-old maternal grandmother recently passed away and reminiscing about her life with my mother, I recalled her harrowing escape from communist China. My paternal grandmother fled China under different – albeit equally dreadful – circumstances. A child of the Chinese Diaspora, I wanted to memorialize these personal histories of border-crossing. Thinking about situating these chronicles in Venice, the legendary border-crosser, Marco Polo, of course came to mind. While his descriptions of foreign lands were fascinating, I found the deadpan accounts of his (seemingly endless) journeys from point to point compelling companions for those of my ancestors.

I wend my way from Marco Polo's home through the Diaspora Pavilion to the waterfront near the Arsenale, adhering text fragments of my grandmothers' escape and of Polo's journeys - using a mix of human sweat and tears - onto the city's myriad surfaces. As the moisture evaporates, the slips of texts will flutter off in the breeze creating a new narrative of movement of their own.

Be afraid of standing still was created for MAP1: Waterways curated by Something Human.

photos by: Colleen Flaherty and Something Human

2 walk exit alley Colleen.jpg
       
     
3 walk down steps canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
4 kneel water pump AKwan.JPG
       
     
5 kneel water buggy AKwan.JPG
       
     
6 bend post Colleen.jpg
       
     
7 walk mid shot YunTeng sm.jpg
       
     
8 kneel waters edge Colleen.jpg
       
     
9 bend mugs YunTeng.jpg
       
     
10 kneel alley AKwan.JPG
       
     
11 bend well AKwan.JPG
       
     
12 kneel grand canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
13 stand audience surround Colleen.jpg
       
     
14 text hand bridge rail AKwan.JPG
       
     
15 text on wall canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
16 text in moss canal AKwan.JPG
       
     
17 text in stone hole AKwan.JPG
       
     
18 text metal grate AKwan.JPG
       
     
19 text in waterfront AKwan.JPG
       
     
20 walk alley AKwan.JPG