My practice is an investigation of grief and loss. Loss of language, place, and culture; grief passed down through family lines. As a consequence, attempts to reconnect with my Latin American heritage have largely occurred through translation. Translation, as process, acts as a conceptual hub in all of my work. Composed of translations and mistranslations, I situate my artworks within the genre of Magical Realism. Here, magic and the supernatural are simply other aspects of existence, and just as in the real world, the damages of colonialism are on full display. The result is a melding of traditional culture and intervening colonial structures. However, this mixture exposes the volatility of hybridity: the pull between different facets can destabilize where they meet. Magical Realism offers a heightened recognition of this life, an Othered understanding from which to suspend overtly delineated aspects of culture and identity. From this new vantage point, I can focus on giving shape and name to more foundational existential concerns.
Built from a process of collage and montage, my work attempts to physicalize my own attempts at reconciliation: I am interested in how seemingly disparate things hold together, despite the inherent fragility and potential entropy of their combination. Tenderness is needed to handle the fragility of hybridity, but I am not seeking to highlight the dissonance created by anachronism, where the past coexists with the present. Rather, I am seeking to substantiate this hybridity, and to recognize the magical and otherworldly nature of the space which we inhabit.
2019. Cherrywood, watercolour, guitar parts. A hybrid sculptural instrument assembled from a patchwork of Western and Mexican imagery - lap steel guitar, colonial architecture, and the volcano Popocatépetl.
Under the Volcano (2019)
A film adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's 1947 novel "Under the Volcano". A slice of pumice from the titular volcano, Popocatépetl, sits behind the lens of an 8mm projector, projecting the volcano's image onto a handmade film screen. Video documentation: https://vimeo.com/423402329
2019. A video Installation projected onto a handmade screen made of manta (traditional Mexican textile) and Aspen. link to full video: https://vimeo.com/383822627
a selection of small-scale scratchboard drawings.