a tale of two Madeira cakes (a migrant’s childhood), Cliff Andrade, 2020
“At the core of diasporic experience is a variant of what W. E. B. DuBois called ‘double consciousness’: that of belonging to more than one world, of being both ‘here’ and ‘there’, of thinking about ‘there’ from ‘here’ and vice versa; of being ‘at home’ – but never wholly – in both places; neither fundamentally the same, nor totally different. It thus entails a very different conception of identity’s relation to cultural traditions from that of conventional notions, which tend to emphasise remaining true to one’s primordial origins and imply continuity, fixity and an unchanging rootedness. Here, ‘routes’ (change, movement, transformations, adaptation, being always ‘in process’) are just as important as ‘roots’, if not more so: an example of what Paul Gilroy calls culture as ‘the changing same’.”
– Stuart Hall, Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands
Due to a historical clash of (and yet gap between) the local and the global, a Madeira cake in Madeira, Portugal, is not the same as a madeira cake in the English speaking world. Only the second generationer, the offspring of the migrant – of both places but not wholly belonging to either – has the knowledge to negotiate this confusion.
Alongside the two cakes, objects referencing national identity are displayed. During the migrant experience, such objects can take on extra significance, filling gaps in personal identity created as a result of dislocation. Some help anchor you to a new identity. Some ensure the old one is not forgotten.
Mimicking the artist’s own migrant experience of the accumulation of objects in the home, all non-perishable objects in the installation were either salvaged or donated.
This sculpture creates a vital emotionally charged space – a threshold crossed out of the gallery space, adding an emotional response to the visual encounter.