Work       Commission       About

La Uma / Our Home

3-channel digital video, surround sound, text, 14’48”

Sit or lay on the mat as you wish,
but remember the part of your house where you feel safe.

Look at the ground and ask yourself,
What would you save from a fire?

Don’t blink at the wall, and remember,
When was the last time you mourned?
Who or what did you mourn over?

Whisper songs that can only be sung once a year, along with your prayers to the ceiling. At dawn, wash the dishes from last night. Walk tiptoe outside so as to not to wake your father,then catch seaworms near the shore with your bare hands. Forget your dreams, dip in theseawater and wash your long, black, greasy hair. When the second bell rings, wear your Sunday best and walk like a lady.

La Uma / Our Home captures the resilience of the Sumbanese people as they rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating fire, exploring how they navigate the external environment as both a living space and a place for mourning.

collective reading 

and she couldn’t hide from the sun

The reading performance was part of Fransisca’s spatial installation work, La Uma/Our Home. The audience was invited to sit on a palm leaf mat, with tales of domestic and sacred objects scattered around the room. Fransisca handed a piece of ceramic slab with a description of domestic and sacred objects to the audience, who read together. Each object holds meaning to the people of Sumba in the aftermath of a fire. However, for the village whose people converted to Christianity, their valuable possessions remain domestic object.

Together with the artist, they conversed in a multi-layered spoken word reflecting on grief, domestic spaces, possessions, and dreams. The work honors the importance of oral tradition for the Sumbanese people, who passed down these stories for generations. In the end, the audiences put all the ceramic slabs back to the ground, and a video of people slowly putting back broken plates after a fire appeared.

A hard, creamy-white material from the tusks  

If my daughter marries a man,
I’d pass to her my ivory, but I’d already sold it
Selling them is the same as killing our own family
But the one who takes won’t understand it

Not all mothers can afford to give their daughters an heirloom
Not all women would wear ivory around their wrists
Not all women would get married

My daughter is not yet married; she is 38 now
My son is out on the paddy fields
My other son is asleep
you are a woman
kamu adalah seorang perempuan

After washing your hair,

stand near the well and

take all three buckets of water with your two hands.

Walk back to the house and see the horizon,

but don’t stare at the beauty for too long,
        the house is a mess.

© 2024 Fransisca Angela