MOLA TRUTH MAPS
Hilltop Gallery, Nogales AZ
My first memories were created in the Panama Canal Zone when I was four years old. I was a non-English speaker, living with American strangers, in a foreign house and in a foreign country. Mola Truth Maps is an exhibition that speaks to this experience and to my experience of living in a militarized US occupied territory. The exhibition is a culmination of work I have done over the last two years on the Panama Canal Zone and my personal narrative to themes of memory, displacement and embodied knowledge but also to connect to the larger and destructive narratives of imperialism.
My father’s career in the navy played a significant role in my life and I’m interested in that sculptural story and my memories surrounding it.
This project builds on ideas around counter-narratives, apotropaic devices and embedded knowledge themes that I have been exploring in my work over the last three years. My most recent project, Mola Truth Maps, has been an exploration of molas, artisanal quilt designs made by indigenous Guna women in Panama with my collaborator Rosa Lidia Alba and her sisters. Through video, data-visualization, virtual reality, sculpture and works on paper, the molas are activated as visual and aural maps – lived maps – inhabited maps that collect and narrate the lived experiences of the people of Panama. The story-telling line that moves throughout the works across media is the line of knowledge-building: resisting, subverting and protecting.