Allan deSouza

Allan deSouzaArtist’s Statement

I work with photographs, often using them as stand-ins for the body, especially the diasporic body that is marked by its multiple locations and history. I wish to create visual representations of the experience of being diasporic, to shift our thinking from how we are formed by geographical locations and racial markings, such as places of origin, places of settlement, etc., to how we are framed by culture, and how our bodies and imaginations are marked by those transitions.

Previously, (the Terrain series, 2000-03), I used materials from my own body or domestic environment-such as hair, fingernails, and recycled trash-to construct models of landscapes that are then photographed.

Most recently, I have been examining the sites of passage of the airport and the airplane, i.e. sites that lie between one zone and another. My intention is to make photographs of transitional states, and further, that the depiction of place is not locatable by means of geography but exists as projections of desire, anxieties and nostalgia.

In the UFO series, 2007, panels are composed of photographs of signs, markings and surfaces taken out of the window while the plane is taxiing along the runway. Each resulting montage resembles spaceships, missiles, insect bodies, or other flying objects that provoke cultural anxiety.

The Divine series, 2007-8, depicts aerial landscapes, again photographed from airplane windows, that have been mirror-imaged to mimic foreign bodies that hover at the edge of social acceptance; exotic gods, aliens, mythological beings, demons and other figments of the social imaginary.



Select Solo Exhibitions

(I don’t care what you say) Those Are Not Tourist Photos, Talwar Gallery, New York, NY

A Terrible Beauty, Susanne Vieltmetter Projects, Los Angeles, CA

Lifting the Veil, Clearing the Mist, Tara Arts Centre, London, England

Select Group Exhibitions

Too Late for Vacation, EV+A, Limerick, Ireland

Double Consciousness, Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN
Snap Judgments, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico

The Arrivals, Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Prism, 18th Street Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Professional Expertise

2006 – Present
Assistant Professor, San Francisco Art Institute

Lecturer, California Institute of the Arts


Durfee Foundation

California Community Foundation/Brody Arts Fellowship


M.F.A., 1997
University of California, Los Angeles

B.F.A., 1983
Bath Academy of Art