Letterpress print
Mohawk Chromolux paper

Letterpress print
Stonehenge paper

Neenah Epic Black 

Artist Publication Risography on
Neenah Epic Black Smooth Paper
11” x 17”
edition of 100

“Tu Si, Gdje?”
Eng. “You Are Here, Where?”

As a person who lives in a country different to my country of origin, I find my day punctuated with correspondence and contact with another place. This inhabiting of different worlds in parallel means that I am balancing two realities and a seven hour time difference. The necessary negotiation is a universal experience for those of us with diasporic identities.

Diasporic communities in countries often form to substitute the idea of “home,” that which provides parameters for identity for us all. The tension inherent in transnationalism and the necessary communication in the context of globalization encapsulates the experience of being global. As continued contact via technology provides a sense of simultaneity between places it also creates new cultural meanings.

In this site-specific installation created for the Flexspace gallery, I built the environment to function as a storytelling space reflecting the diasporic dialogues through time. Multiple works on paper interact to create a linguistic space of exchange. The language used is sourced from letters that America immigrants wrote to their families abroad between year 1860 and 1950. This correspondence is now a part of the permanent archive at University of Minnesota. The language reflects contemporary immigrant concerns, as well as the darkness, humor and the immigrant experience. One of the works (#5) is incorporates my personal correspondence.

I shared some of my findings and correspondence with my community and my students. Because I teach in an HSI Hispanic-serving institution with a large immigrant population from all over the world, I often share my students' life experiences. While talking to these young artists, I realized we all have saved examples of such correspondence. My students shared theirs with me. I also used their contributions in this work and created it in a community with these young artists.

The installation is accompanied by a risograph printed broadside discussing the works in more detail (click here to read the broadside essay).

All works were created during my residency at Flexspace Gallery at Riverside Arts Center.

March 2024