A material and photo collage

Satpreet Kahlon, "from all of us," 2023; scanned archival photos on cardboard substrate, scanned card given to artist on her 4th birthday, weaving yarn, scrap wood, staples, pigment, crayon, wax, beads, pipe cleaners, plaster, rain water from the Great Basin, journal entry from august 2023; 60 x 55 x 7 in.

Satpreet Kahlon

Artist in Residence, 2023

Portrait in black and white of Satpreet Kahlon

Artist Statement
My practice is concerned with illegibility, inscrutability, and collapse. Beginning with the understanding that most Indigenous cultures are existing in a post-apocalyptic reality, I approach the act of building sculpture and making paintings as a kind of prayer: a futile attempt to communicate with and better know generations of lost, unknowable histories. An endlessly looping signal without reply.

The works themselves are precarious and messy, comprised of ubiquitous consumer goods (wooden pallets, cardboard, textiles) that I salvage and then manipulate with raw earthen materials (beeswax, lime, soil, plant fiber, pigment) in an attempt to remove them from a capitalist framework and re-establish their subjecthood.

In this way, they are stand-ins for our bodies, and through their transformation I ask if we, too, can be transformed, made human, and find our way back to the earth.


While at Headlands
During my time at Headlands, I will be taking long walks and greeting new plant and animal friends and digging through various trash cans to look for materials for my work, which often explores how local material legacies and waste streams reflect global imperialist histories. Additionally, I’ll explore the Indian Consulate archives to trace the forgotten working-class histories of the Ghadr Freedom Movement.