Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sylvia Hughes-Gonzales and Ebti | Invasive Fantasy

INVASIVE FANTASY is a participatory photo booth that exists partly online, by Sylvia Hughes-Gonzales and Ebti.

Palm trees evoke California dreaming, wealth, relaxation, land of promise and the enduring allure of the west. Our fantasy-propelled social media culture is saturated with them. Although palm trees remain an integral part of California identity much of what they symbolize is borrowed from faraway places. 

California only has one native palm. The rest were brought and planted here for their association with regions exoticized by the west such as tropical Islands and the “Middle east”. Is California a place that never was? Full of false promises and borrowed identity? Is it a fantasy? Much like social media where images float unmoored from their context, so too does the palm tree. 

Palm Assembly is an ongoing collaboration between two artists based in California. One from Cairo where the palm tree symbolizes all the love of place and home. The other from the Gulf Coast where palm trees inspire resilience for their ability to bend but rarely break in hurricane winds. 

We at Palm Assembly find ourselves both anchored and lost by palm trees all at the same time. Please join our conversation. For better or for worse our goal is to plant more palm trees on the social media terrain.