Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mami graduated

Mami Graduated

Mami was the only child of 9 to graduate from high school circa 1945 in Puerto Rico. Mami told me that none of her siblings or he mother attended her graduation. Only her farther attended. Mami also told me that he sacrificed quite a bit to make sure that she had everything she needed for her graduation day;
a dress made by a friend
flowers for her hair and to pin on her dress
fashionable shoes
I don't know if he actually made her shoes because he was a zapatero. Maybe he saved or borrowed money to buy her a pair. He also had a picture taken in a studio of Mami in her graduation dress. Mami also told me how he picked her up and jumped over a puddle so her shoes wouldn't get messed up. I am not sure if this really happened, it sounds so cliche. I guess it does happen, right? 
There is quite a bit of mystery around why her family did not attend. There is no one left to confirm any of the possibilities of reasons why. I wouldn't even know where to begin to search for cousins. Maybe if she is still there, I can find my cousin Alodia in the Poconos? 

This image is the foundation for all of the work that will be in the exhibit 
"Lo Que Aparece y Desaparece".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lo Que Aparece 
              foto by J.Lopez

Getting ready for Las Gallas exhibit at Taller Puertorriqueno for the Philagrafika International Quadrennial of Printmaking in Philadelphia. 
I have spent a lot of time with images of Mami, Papi, and an abuelo I never met. Spending hours and hours with these images and reimagine-ing a story; stories that she told me, that he withheld and a story that I never got to hear. All have left an imprint; one that you can  see on my skin and another that is buried within. This play is one that is almost done. I wrote "Graciela" to pay tribute to Mami's struggle as a single mother, as an immigrant, and as a woman who survived domestic abuse. She defended herself from all these trials by creating a world that left a bundle of scars in her abdomen, scars that lined her uterus and electrified her brain cells. Text from "Graciela" will be incorporated in the prints that are being produced for the exhibit.