In the conceptual project, Ghosts in Sunlight, I investigate the intersection of economic and social justice in the feminist perspective. Reimagining the public housing I have known as home as a space of poetic revelation, I transform the housing projects from structures of oppression into sites of reverie and resistance. Rooted in photography, my practice also employs collage and language to consider the connections between the personal, the political and the aesthetic. I am particularly interested in investigating the ways in which poor urban women employ their creative production and labor as strategies for survival. The aesthetics of containment and surveillance, and the meditative visual space, invite us to contemplate our emotional responses to race, class and difference, in the service of a renewed critical consciousness.
My work is concerned with how the aesthetics of place contains within itself both systemic exclusionary practices that keep people on the margins, and opportunities for imagining practices of living otherwise. I’m interested in chronicling the emotional legacies and experiments in living of those at the convergence of exclusion, mothering in poverty and labor justice. I’m asking how the creativity of the subjugated creates utopic spaces and underground networks of mutuality and autonomy – and what the production of this knowledge by the dispossessed has to teach us about alternative modes of being together. The hope of the project rests in imagining that visual culture could encourage the awakening of a political sensibility driven by a love ethic of collectivity and compassion.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Magda Parasidis is a visual artist, designer and cultural worker, born in Athens, Greece. She immigrated to New York City in 1980, settling in a public housing project in Queens. Parasidis received a B.A. in Art History and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University, followed by engagements with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery and the Guggenheim Collection, Venice. Parasidis holds a graduate degree in Advanced Artistic Studies from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan.
Her text-based art and photography practice focuses on the intersection of economic and racial justice with poor people’s rights in the feminist perspective. She received a 2018 and 2019 Greater Columbus Arts Council grant, and a 2021 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. The monograph Magda Parasidis: Ghosts in Sunlight was published in 2021 in conjunction with an exhibition at Otterbein University.
Her work has been recognized in statewide juried exhibitions and is held in both private and public collections. She lives with her husband and two children in Columbus, Ohio. You can visit her @magdaparasidis.
© Magda Parasidis