The Hotel of Curiosities was an installation that replicated a portion of a hotel/motel in the Kruglack Gallery, at Miracosta College. This piecewas the result of a confluence of interests. Among these: the wunderkamer- cabinets of curiosities of the 17th century as well as early epistemological differences in how the word was understood. Another was memory and how what we know and tell of ourselves and our experiences is under continual reshaping in a an ever changing present.
The hotel for me operated as this site of transience, a kind of experiential palimpsest, where surfaces, odors, space and design veil many pasts. The hotel as a site of transient meaning was and is for me a full size wunderkamer- not a container per se but a site of what might happen and then what might be wiped clean, until the next "guest" checks in.
My sincerest thanks to students in my installation class, Dinah Poellnitz, Jeremy Raab, Shirin Tofiq and Jeffery Turner.
Lobby entrance to installation. Video if a hand beckoning visitors in.
Detail of front desk.
detail of front desk.
In the hallways of the installation were three translucent walls with rear projected video on each. they showed: central California landscape at 70 mph, Downtown LA from a train, and incoming airliners to the airport. sounds for each echoed throughout.
There were three doors with peephole in each. Each had an image where someone is in a state of "not quite" or "in between" - sites or situations of uncertainty. This is an image of a person in a pool.
Peep hole two.
Peephole 3: photo of a parachute, taken by my father who was a paratrooper, mid decent.
along the spine of the hallway were postcards from all over the world.
ARTEFACTO is a large scale installation in two galleries exhibited at the Phillip Feldamn Gallery on the campus of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland OR in fall 2006. The piece is the latest in a series of work examining the relationship between memory, artifact and identity. In the main space, the room is concieved of as a large compass, each cardinal direction is marked by a wall mounted vitrine. Each vitrine contains color associated with that direction. The large chendelier-like sculpture is the center with over 400 hand cast objects referenceing the meso-american glyph for speech. Each is filled with one of the following: ashes of Spanish/English dictionaries, verses cut from the Bible, and the petals of the Marigold (cempazuchitl).
The Smoking Mirror
This video was projected downward onto the opaque surface of motor oil. It was a video that suggested an answer to the question: what if memories were fossils? What would it look like to be revealed. The video shows ( from the pov of the fossilized memory) an archaeologist gently brushing away the sand, then fading back to the circulating smoke.
Awakening was exhibited at the Oakland Museum Of California in 2007. Cureated by Anjee Helstrup, Executive Director of MACLA in San Jose. This installation was my alternative take on the traditional Dia de Los Muertos offrendas. I invented a fictional archaeologist, Professor de Luna, who disappeared in search of the ancient Aztec land of the dead :l Mictlan.
Rather than create an altar, I created a faux documentary style exhibit of the remnants of Professor de Luna's final known whereabouts: A small trailer outside of Fresno Ca.
It is said that he was somehow able to walk the lands of Mictlan while he slept in a dream state only. While in the dream state he collected "specimens" from the levels of Mictlan, took notes and drew diagrams of his findings. The exhibit is all that remains of his mysterious research and subsequent disappearance.
I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to Anjee Helstrup for her support for this work.
Winding the Strata ( 1996) an installation created in El Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa park, San Diego California. This piece was a response to a then re-burgeoning “guest worker” proposal to accommodateCalifornia’sagricultural need for inexpensive farm labor. It integrated elements of my father’s stories of living under huge carpas or tents during the picking season. The tent is made of latex, resembling human skin, browned by the days sun, with the tools of domestic and farm labor echoed in its surface. The piece was “spiced” with the spices of the new world, while the fruits and vegetables of the the region were echoed in ink on the floor. It isa testament both to my family and the many other hard working immigrant families trying to make home in a “new world”.
Group Show, From "Here, Now, y Que?"- Centro cultural de La Raza. Winding the Strata is in upper right of image.
Tend. An installation at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle Washington. Part of an annual cultural inquiry “ Disapearances”. This piece included the upturned soles of over 2000 pairs of shoes, video of a hand wiping white clay over the visible surface of the wall, a metronome continually ticking,and other elements. 2000.
Hints of Shelter
Hints of Shelter existed for four days, an installation that took two weeks to construct. This piece was a response to to the loss of my grandmother’s house in the Northridge earthquake of 1994. It was a very visceral response to the loss of this place as though it were a the loss of a close relative or friend. her house was a place of familial gatherings, and a place where holidays, arguments and stories were shared. This piece had a number of elements. Foremost was the fact that much of it was built with the burnt remains of my grandmother’s house; the windows, timbers, ashes, un-burnt nails, her front door, and her recorded stories. Stories of flight from revolution in Mexico in the years spanning 1910-1920. Her stories echoed from an ash filled hole in the wooden floor below the child’s desk along with the unceasing pinging of my grandfather’s brick hammer hitting stone below a single bulb. As my grandmother’s stories faded out, mine would fade in, such that a conversation of stories filled this installation. This piece was an homage to that house as home and home as family.
Soundings in Fathoms
Soundings In Fathoms was a collaboration with Siobhan Arnold at the SOIL art Collective in Seattle WA 1999. The installation addressed issues of personal orientation, notions of travel and home. Images on the windows are found family photos from the early 20th century and were silk screened in asphaltum onto the glass. One set the images were etched and then treated with blue chalk.
Authentic a tourist emerges
"(authentic) A tourist emerges". Installtion, University of California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art. MFA thesis exhibit, 1996. This piece examined notions of authenticity through skin. The wall is covered in latex and it has been tattooed with cliches and phrases from popualr culture about "being real".