"Fake Idol": how the fight for the American green card inspired the artist
Categories: North AmericaBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/fake-idol-how-the-fight-for-the-american-green-card-inspired-the-artist.html
For five years, Indonesian artist Leonard Suryajaya, overcoming unimaginable difficulties, sought to obtain an American green card. The result was the acquisition of the cherished document and... the photo project "Fake Idol" - a metaphorical rethinking of the difficulties that a man had to overcome.
A US green card is an official document, like an identity card, allowing the owner to enter the country, live there, work and get an education. There are three main ways to get a green card: marriage with a US citizen, a large investment in the country's economy and a special lottery.
Leonard Suryajaya came to the USA 14 years ago at the age of 18. At first, he lived on a student visa, and in 2016 he applied for a green card, since his marriage partner is a US citizen. Leonard was prepared for the fact that the process would be delayed, but he could not even imagine that the bureaucratic red tape would last five years.
All five years Suryajaya worked on the photo project "Fake Idol". No, the artist's work has not become a hymn to the clumsy bureaucratic machine of the "country of equal opportunities" - in it, Leonard reflected the experiences of a little man. being under the microscope of the country's authorities, who are closely studying his documents and dissecting the life of both his personal and his family members.
The heroes of the bright and very ironic staged pictures were numerous relatives of the artist, whom he placed in the phantasmagoric scenery of the "future American life". According to Suryajay, "Fake Life" is the discovery of America by a Chinese-Indonesian alien millennial.
The artist anxiously recalls how all the time, while the examination of his documents lasted, he felt out of place. It seemed to him that he was being continuously monitored in order to find out what he was, what he was thinking about and how useful the United States could be.
Leonard Suryajaya is sure that very few viewers understand what he wanted to say with this work. But the author is not afraid that his creation may be misinterpreted. The artist says that he will be glad if everyone can interpret his work as he finds it necessary.
Agree, it is a very strange, even surreal presentation of the history of the internal torments of an emigrant. However, nothing more unusual than the visual stories of photographer and designer Karen Jerchik, which literally "blows the roof off".