Basil Kincaid’s Dancing the Wind Walk, an airplane wrapped in patchwork quilt made from discarded, recycled material gathered in Ghana and St. Louis (where the artist practices), is a vehicle for memorial content and a fabric monument. The site of this installation, Santa Monica Airport, speaks to the quilt’s tendency to cross borders and bridge places and spaces; in this context of aviation and flight, Kincaid’s practice of celebrating journeys, shifts, phases, chapters, transitions and metamorphosis is given lift off.
The artist’s mastery in abstraction, draping fabric over, down, and through the sculptures, creates sites rich with ancestral presence. The stories nested within the quilt surrounding Dancing the Wind Walk are multi-faceted, stemming from collective memory and the materials’ travel; its passage from West Africa to the West Coast of the United States.
Dancing the Wind Walk represents the pursuit of freedom within systems of subjugation. It represents the courage to create and experience joy and the victory that is maintaining an open, loving heart when so much of the contemporary experience is designed to harden. The work speaks to our human ties to clothes, the memories embedded in them, the permeability of space, the legacy of place, and the ability people have to connect and co-create new realities through memory, material, and imagination.