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“My art is grounded in the belief of one universal energy which runs through everything: from insect to man, from man to spectre, from spectre to plant from plant to galaxy. My works are the irrigation veins of this universal fluid. Through them ascend the ancestral sap, the original beliefs, the primordial accumulations, the unconscious thoughts that animate the world”― Ana Mendieta
"To finally recognize our own invisibility is to finally be on the path toward visibility. Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone."
My fascination with nebulas was born from a 2013 trip to Vieques, the same trip that sparked my determination to move to Puerto Rico, which I did exactly a year later. Vieques marks an axis between my political artworks, my first pregnancy and the loss of my brother. At this axis, contemplations on liberation consider living, surviving, being, existing, transcending.
Birthing at home, un-medicated, anchored in an intense, raw physical state, spirit soaring beyond this plane, taught me to see through the nebulous. In the famed bay of Vieques’ bioluminescent waters, I was captivated by plasma, swirls of light as reflected in lightning, the aurora and in nebulas. The latter allow me to experiment with the visual essence of fluido, the universal fluid or light energy flowing through spirits, physical life and celestial bodies--a concept central to my espiritismo faith.
Nebulas become a visual metaphor for existing between Earth and beyond; the space between dying and being born; living between two lands; being born a citizen to a nation in which you have no real representation. Nebulas are metaphors for the nebulous political state of Puerto Rico and for reclaiming and reaffirming visibility for a people rendered invisible by colonialism. In the fluid, nebulous in-between, like the water that flows between the land my parents were born on and the one I was born on but left, I find the answer: transcendence.
Mas Alla de la Luna
As a play on Juan Antonio Corretjer’s poem, Boricua en la luna (Puerto Rican on the Moon) my series Más allá de la luna (Beyond the Moon) considers liberation beyond colonialism and political borders. It envisions spiritual liberation beyond this Earth. Puerto Rican freedom fighters, who have suffered through exile, incarceration, torture and death are reinterpreted as interstellar nebulas. The blue and red of Puerto Rico's flag are represented as gases in nebulas reflecting the light of stars. Blue is viewed in space when there is a high concentration of oxygen and red is present when hydrogen is more prevalent. Depicting these gases and their corresponding colors in the cosmos, I reference the water that comprises 3/4s of this Earth and 3/4s of our human bodies. The purpose is to imbue the flag with an expanded spiritual, universal significance. Nationhood is essentially an expression of what we all seek: connectivity in humanity and liberation.