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Perhaps because I am a child of revolution and political asylum, my work is driven by existential questions that probe identity, history and culture. It wrestles with conflicting moral intuitions, with the personal and the historic, conflating them with questions that bring archetypal material to light. I think of the body as the agent, measure, and sum of physical and cultural substance because my own body acts and is acted upon. It senses, remembers, and reports on lived experiences real and imagined.
Like the mutability of social structures in my lost and new homelands, my work embraces ambiguity and uncertainty. My studio practice reflects this variability through diverse visual strategies and interdisciplinarity. I paint, draw, photograph, work in film, sculpture and installation. My work straddles the intersection of the conceptual and confessional, confounding my own slippage between the intensely felt and rationally conceived.
The ten pieces in this submission come from the MIGRATIONS series and explore the archetype of The Hanged Man or pittura infamante. It explores the dislocation of the self and suspension between places and states that resonates deeply with my early childhood experiences as of political asylum, migration, memory and cultural mythologies.
Tatiana Garmendia is a professor of fine arts at Seattle Central College. She has exhibited her work throughout the US, and abroad in Mexico, Italy, Germany, England, and India. Her works are in public collections in Seattle, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Illinois, California, Ohio, and the Dominican Republic. Synthesizing formal concerns and a humanist engagement with history and culture, the artist’s interdisciplinary work occupies fluid boundaries. Born in Cuba at the height of the Cold War and immigrating to the USA as a youth, the artist’s practice deciphers myths, histories, languages, and tropes from different communal fonts.