Wish I Were Here

Arzu Arda Kosar
Painted rocks, photos, 2020

During the pandemic lock down, I left hand painted rocks in and around Los Angeles, CA that read “Wish I Were Here”. It was a street art project as well as an excuse to get out of the house.  Inspired by the red “you are here” markers on maps, various traditions of using rocks as landmarks (to mark a boundary, for navigation or for ceremonial purposes), and hoping to be noticed by the passerby, the rocks are painted bright red.  Although “Wish I Were Here” marks the places I genuinely missed during the lockdown, the phrase has been coming up in my work since the 2010’s in reference to being physically present but mentally absent, and to aspirations, ambitions, desires, dreams, memories and nostalgia.