The Accidental Immigrant
Supported by The New York Council On The Arts
The Accidental Immigrantis part of an ongoing search by Tom Hall for empathy in the plight of immigrants who the artist has met and got to know, and the millions searching for hope outside their homelands today. In the work made for the Schweinfurth Art Center there is a constant back and forth exploration with childhood play, enactments and cultural hooks. Tom Hall is seeking the personal parallels he needs to connect with people, who by their very description are seen as the other. Border Crossingis a series of large scale ‘hook’drawings of the artist and his two sons crossing the Mexican/US border. They are seen as mythical giants picking their way through the desert or flickering shadows from the Platonic cave. The show is full of illuminations and shadows. The rooms are hung with classic early 20thcentury ray guns decoratively painted with fabric patterns reflecting immigrant stories from around the world, AlieNationshows the distrust and loneliness of the outsider but also the coming together of the Sci-Fi narrative. Tom Hall is the latest member of his family to immigrate to America. Starting in the 1800’swith various Robinsons from his mother’s side looking for the simple Quaker life and then an Uncle in the 1960’sfor the more liberated gay culture in New York City. This is emphasized in the film Searching For Hopewhere the artist quests for the elusive ideal for all immigrants represented in the naming of many new historic settlement towns.