8:46 is a visual prayer named for the approximate amount of time the officer kneeled on George Floyd's neck ultimately killing him. Moving images that overlap are anchored by one image depicting me breathing. Other images of moments from my life both during the pandemic, and some from years prior, are layered together creating a montage of inherited and learned restorative healing practices. These are seeds of longevity, acts of protection, catharsis and self, family, community and cultural preservation. These overlapping moving images are overlaid by the sound of me breathing and praying for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Essentially this is 8 minutes and 46 seconds of reverence. A visual and auditory medicine for times of grief.
My hope is that by breathing for this time, this encourages the viewer to breathe as well, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and shifting the internal state of the body from one of stress to one of calm. This is also cleansing, clearing and oxygenating the cells, ultimately having a positive effecting on the heart, the brain, the digestive system and the immune system. This is reinforcing that we need to be well to show up fully in this revolution (breathing, taking care of self, etc.), especially in the face of such brutality, sickness and hatred.
This work is currently showing as a part of my 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Finalist Virtual Exhibition entitled “WE ARE THE INFINITE, DISGUISED AS THE FINITE”.
Voice Over: Phylicia Ghee
Phylicia Ghee (Baltimore, MD) is an interdisciplinary visual artist and photographer. Ghee’s artwork documents transition, explores healing, ritual, ceremony & personal rites of passage. Taught by her Grandfather at a very early age, she works in photography, performance, video, fibers, mixed media, installation & painting. Ghee received her BFA in Photography with a Concentration in Curatorial Studies from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. She has also exhibited her work at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Galerie Myrtis, The Egyptian Embassy, The Margulies Warehouse (Miami, FL), Studio Art Centers International (Italy), and The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. Ghee has exhibited and performed at Art on the Vine (Martha’s Vineyard), Young Collectors Contemporary (Memphis, TN), The Walters Art Museum as 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist and The African American Museum (Philadelphia, PA). Ghee was named ‘2019 Best of Baltimore' in the category of Artist. She was named 2020 Baker Artist Award Finalist and 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist.
Ghee work extends beyond her personal practice and engages collaboratively with community. She brings art-based ritual to various communities in the forms of intergenerational storytelling, performance, ceremonial rites of passage, installation, sensory therapy and deep meditative rest experiences. Ghee received recognition from Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan & the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration for her art and activism in raising awareness on issues and stigmas surrounding mental health and substance use disorder.