Born in Mochudi, Botswana multidisciplinary artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum Has called various parts of Africa, southeast Asia and the United States home. Motivated by her experiences and these diverse locales, Sunstrum explores how one sense of identity develops within geographic and cultural context. She developed an alter ego, Asme , a mythological time and space traveler capable of sleeping between histories and between the real and Fantastical. The replication, the Me-as-Me, or simultaneous cells, allows Sunstrum to assert the definition of self that is unfixed and always in flux, and to chart the psychological blur endangered by journeys. “Asme Was created out of my need for a character who could represent my own experience of Blackness – as an experience of always shifting between locations, between cultures, between definitions,” notes the artist. Sunstrum’s Work takes various forms, including large-scale installations, stop motion films, performances, and works on paper. Me, as Me was executed at the Brandywine Workshop immediately following Sunstrums three-month residency and Johannesburg, South Africa
Me As Me, in my work I am interested in how experiences of travel can be crafted into mythologies that address the traces of history, stories, and memories that persist in both individual as well as collective identities. I was born in Botswana and much of my childhood was spent living in different parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. I believe it was as a result of those early experiences that I became interested in how travel and 'the journey' can spur on imaginations to invent myths out of our everyday landscape. My recent work features an alter-ego I have invented named Asme, Because of the way I grew up, I always felt I lived in the African Diaspora: that forced or voluntary migrations, movements of laborers, and other systems of globalization have created complex transnational populations. I allow Asme, then, to be an entity that is trans-cultural, trans-historical, and trans-geographical: she belongs nowhere and everywhere all at once. Asme represents the hero in the archetypal quest, ever searching through landscapes that are as fantastical as they are real. My work is often interdisciplinary in nature ranging from love poems collaged from news headlines, to photo animations, drawings, performance, and sound works, to installations composed of found materials and traded goods.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum was born in Mochudi, Botswana, and lives and works between Johannesburg, South Africa, and Ontario, Canada.
She has exhibited her work internationally at institutions including Interlochen Centre for the Art in...