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A Cactus in the Chimney

Project Description 

     A Cactus in the Chimney takes its title from the first plant, a red cap cactus; I bought when I first arrived on American shores in New York. I saw these plants as a substitute friend when I first arrived. My animated view of the world inspired me to role-play with different characters to help me position myself into an unfamiliar world. In this project, I use mass-produced, found, or discarded materials, such as newspapers, dish sponges, selected fabrics, and large garbage bags, to make costumes for self-portraits. 


     I situate myself both within constructed spaces in my photographic studio and/or outdoor urban environments, performing as an anonymous character camouflaged and situated within the desolate urban parks and city landscapes. I choose materials that amplify the animated character’s personality. In “Bubbled Arm, ” balloons symbolize the majestic appearance of the character and its vulnerability to the urban environment. In this series, I evoke my experience of anxiety and insecurity felt as a foreigner living in New York City. The characters in this series are my avatars, traveling in the interior and exterior world I create for them using photography to places I find unsettling in an attempt to find a place where I can call home.

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