Mapping With Water
On in betweeness, limits and points of view
As a woman going back and forth between two countries, I am used to inhabiting two worlds, the male and the female; the Canadian and the Spanish. As a consequence, translation has become an important part of my life and work. In the process of translating, I often become mute; unable to fill the gaps between these two worlds. This reality affects the way I look at the world and is reflected in anything I do. Cultural researcher and feminist, Young-Paik Chun says," a 'muted' group has a certain order and mode which can relate and sometimes change the model of the dominant culture and fluctuate between the two worlds depending on the situation."
Me, as well I like to fluctuate between two worlds. In my videos I situate myself between: the story and the experience, here and there, the self and the other, movement and stillness, the optical and the haptical and the distance between all of them. I am interested in this continuous flow, back and forth, and the inherent stillness of it.
Through an interweaving series of metaphors, I emphasize the ambiguity and flexibility of the intersection points which constitute 'in between'. I introduce a world of this and that which also could be that or this, or that. A world where speaking in Spanish becomes a metaphor for experience and translating the story into English, my second language, becomes the tale. The sound of the voice is also the haptical and the written text (the story) is the optical. In this way, I incorporate my own experience by trying to share stories from my past that in a new environment, I am not sure if they are important at all. Being 'in between' encourages me to explore limits and boundaries and to question them suspended in eternal paradox.
I use as a reference the work of artists such as Maria Mendieta, a Cuban artist, whose work also dealt with the dialogue between her body and the landscape. She explored in the 70's the tactile boundaries between the 'known I' and the 'unknown non-I(s)'.
Anne Rainee says, "Mendieta's images invoke a hauntingly indefinable response that might be considered matrixial; they stage an intimate, anonymous coexistence in the same space of the 'known I' (apprehended through recognition of or identification with human form) and the 'non-I(s)' which might become in part as soma, m(other), landscape, but which also remain unrecognized, unidentified, their unfanthomable presence gestured towards by the invocation of boundaries continually renegotiated through non-verbal, non-visual, tactile encounter."
In my case I use the limits of perception to explore the limits of the 'known I' and the 'unknown I(s)'. For instance, in my videos the person who holds the camera is invisible to us, but more importantly she is invisible to her 'self' because she can only see through the camera. The camera is an artificial eye that pronounces the limits of the visual. This limitation makes the viewer aware of different ways of ordering experience, other than visually.
In my work I look for a space that allows vulnerability and disclosure. This disclosure is fragmented, leaving room for the unknown, the unseen, and the imagination. My aim is to create a more femenine space where intimacy, trust, beauty and care coexist with traditionally more masculine qualities such us strength, singularity and autonomy without excluding one or the other, but questioning and maintaining an ongoing dialogue.
 Raine Anne, "Subjectivity in the Work of Ana Mendieta," Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts. 246-247.
 Young-Paik Chun, "Mother's Anger and Mother's Desire," Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts. 181.