Artist Statement

My art practice is led by a dialogue that I establish with the materials.  I explore them as cultural signifiers. I approach materiality by appropriating daily life objects such as textiles and garments. I consider that these objects acquire symbolic meanings, which are embedded within culture and are difficult to extract from it.  These symbolic meanings change depending on the function that objects have within each society.  My intent is to decode these symbolic values that are inserted in the objects and investigate their cultural connotations.

Textiles and garments play an important role in my work because they speak about identity (social, individual), cultural crosses, gender and power relations. I am interested in lowbrow and mass produced materials that imitate dominant aesthetic concepts. I mainly focus on the usage of textiles in a Latin American context and the adoption of them by popular culture.  Textiles and garments speak about cultural hybridity, colonial history and symbolic acts of resistance. I am not interested in speaking about massive protest, but rather explore the resistance in daily life actions. For the purpose of my research I direct the attention to symbolic resistance. For example, there were “nominal” acts of resistance during the Colonial period such as religious syncretism, where indigenous people decided to conceal their worship symbols into the catholic ones. In my work, I seek to explore similar symbolic acts that seem invisible because they are naturalized and embedded into the popular culture as something regular. In our daily life, we rarely question the political or social reasons for which they emerge.

In my work, I interweave form and connotation of materials. I reflect about hierarchies, power relations and creation of categories. I allow the materials to be recognizable by evidencing the tactility, but simultaneously I provoke a rupture by decontextualizing their original function. My intention is to make the categorization of the new object that I make more complex. That means, I seek to generate an experience of familiarity and unfamiliarity at the same time, along with generating uncertainty. Such uncertainty is an invitation to question the categories under which the narrative of western history was based. Often Western history leaves out of its discourse other histories. Those marginalized histories are the ones that I aim to emphasize.

 

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