In the face of hegemonic power structures – white, male, capitalist, straight – we have no choice but to imagine the world anew, drawing on the complexity of our identity. The threads of our social web pull upon and shape one another, ultimately creating the woven fabric of a new world. As artists, we man the looms that produce that fabric. Culture generates politics, and as such our work is political. Identity politics, meant to unify and empower us, has been co-opted by the dominant power structures, abandoning intersectional identity and leaving marginalized peoples battling one another for scraps. As a result we face a terrible threat to our social matrix. We are here to create the work of a revolution, engaging with and creating a new pedagogy to re-educate others and ourselves. Our hands create, making them the weapons of resistance in the face of erasure.
I wonder why my work doesn’t smell like tamales, why it doesn’t sound like gunshots. What objects are mine to use? What images are mine to exploit? From a young age, I was aware of the duality of my reality: American and Other. Growing up in Southern Illinois surrounded by my immigrant family’s Peruvian culture, yet leaving that world each time I stepped out the door, I was fascinated by the dichotomy between the acceptance and rejection of my hometown. I came to understand that within this liminal space exists the possibility of radical transformation. I choose to use materials imbued with totemic power – huayruro, bullets, wood, mirrors – and their counterpart imagery – La Virgen, nuclear test sites, the sun god Inti, the Pachamama – to piece together a reality forged in the between, supplanting the current hegemonic ideology.
The direction of my visual research is the intersection of identity and perception of the future; a future shaped by ideological and social warfare, a battle to occupy the space between identities. Using found objects and materials related to Andean indigeneity, I create prints, paintings, and installations referencing skin, violence, and modes of worship. I create the tools of a revolution.