20 June 2018
As part of 'The Refugee I' collection, Esna presents 'When The Nest Falls', a performance and installation at Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation.
This performance displays three tableaus wearing Su’s hand-woven sculptures, which have been crafted using traditional Middle-eastern techniques of carpet making, 'Hasir', which involves constant weaving. Imbued with the weight of heritage, the organic shapes of the pieces envelop the wearer like external limbs. They illustrate the burden of displacement and the aspiration for protection and preservation in a troubled political context.
Each piece adopts a unique role, embodying the refugees’ vast and varying challenges that have been perpetuated by a sense of fragile ambiguity. The tableaus unfold to reveal how sharply stability can be toppled when the weight of the future is dominated by such dangerous uncertainty. The figures' elastic garments constitute the attempts of refugees to flee and reach out despite being so constrained, prompting an inevitable and repetitive return to the starting point.
Live music circles the audience; drums echo collective heartbeats before morphing into the pulse of war, the tempo of bombings. The sculptures then translate into a shelter as Su points again to the theme of ambivalence through the constant interplay between multifaceted sounds, materials and movements.