1998 Indigena/Assimilado

Indigena/Assimilado, 1998
Booklets; stamps, inkpad; laminated poster, interactive installation.
Collaboration with Yong Soon Min.

Created for the World Expo in Lisbon, Portugal, the participatory work divides gallery visitors into Indigena and Assimilado, recalling the Portuguese colonial practice of classification along racial and color lines. On entering the gallery space, visitors are confronted with a desk on which is a large poster in the form of the Portuguese flag. The text instructs the viewer on how to acquire the
appropriate documentation in order to enter the gallery. First the viewer has to match their skin tone to one of the color swatches on the “flag.” Depending on whether they fall within the red or green zone, they receive a stamp on their hand denoting that they are assimilado or indigena, respectively. They further receive a “passbook,” fabricated by the artists and which provides fictional accounts of the indigena and assimilado experience in the Portuguese colonies.