When I was a child, my family and I emigrated from Soviet Eastern Europe to Latin America. As my mother fruitlessly struggled to adapt to Colombian culture and a flamboyant capitalist and Catholic society, I grew up as a culture clash child. My clothing, food, costumes and culture were dramatically different than those of my peers. I avoided ridicule by pretending I received a Catholic baptism and made my parents baptize me in secret, with the desire to have the alienation dissipate somewhat. As I became my own self, I felt I never ceased to be that strange child. I have always felt without a sense of place. A foreigner everywhere I have lived. My sense of place was art. Art making was my way of grounding myself, and in my world I could just “be” and speak without danger. I was driven to make art, because I wanted to create a world inside the world. I wanted to play life, as one plays house; to imitate the intelligible; to escape to the unintelligible.
I created personal mythological realms of opposing forces, such as The Theocratic Republic of Gaia and The Insurgent Women, shaped by and in response to growing up during a civil war that has lasted roughly 50 years. I make these works in an urge to create realms of resistance. My approach is a product of research I have done on colonization and neo-colonization, witch-hunts, the demonization of women and revolutionary culture since the heretics in the Middle Ages. I study alternatives that humanity has explored in a quest for liberation.
I am a conceptually driven multidisciplinary artist who often uses materials that have been historically associated with women’s craft. I construct some works –such as Liberation– with layers of felt, threads, photographs on canvas, embroidery and stitching. My work also includes photography, collage, sculpture, video and performance.
For me, the stitch becomes an exorcism to the lugubrious pain of mortality. I explore the woman’s body as a prison and arrive at alternatives for its liberation. Images become intertwined with a visceral and unapologetic tone of protest and an open social dialogue. I am interested in the intersection of aesthetic and political philosophy.
I use my desire for liberation from my physicality and for disintegration –as in Freud’s death drive— to build dual layers of meaning. Black shadows read repression, akin to a redacted text. The desire for disintegration and political discourse fuse in the shadow, and the images cease to be what they appear, revealing meaning, peeling out “the more” in an autobiographical manner, which co-exists with political narrative. Elements such as the veil –a constant for women in the semiotic vocabulary of every religion-
inform a hiding, while the abject image of vomiting threads or hair refers to a process of catharsis.
Thinkers such as Plato (reality vs. perception and prison vs. freedom), Marx (alienation), Kropotkin (his essays on morality), Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation) and feminism have influenced my work.
I see the artist as a nourishing force for the community and responsible for interacting in her context and breaking the systematic exclusion from her relationship to the world and the patriarchal art historical gaze. I want to create alternatives that counter the destructive relationship that capitalism and creativity have in art making.