PAST 17th STREET GALLERY EXHIBITION - OAS MAIN BUILDING
Work by Anaida Hernández and Rosa Irigoyen
April 19, 2002 – May 30, 2002
AMA | OAS Gallery
OAS Main Building
17th Street, NW (Corner of Constitution Ave.)
Washington, DC 20006
Anaida Hernández and Rosa Irigoyen both work in a range of media, varying depending on the conceptual intent of each piece. At times, Hernández presents a series of symbols and text through a small drawing, while at others she creates large installations, such as her satirical “Wheel of Fortune (American Dream)” (mixed media interactive installation; wood, acrylic, steel, fabric; 1996-99), in which viewers are invited to determine their futures with the spinning of a game show wheel.
Hernández uses such installations to address issues of immigration, violence (physical and psychological), environmental degradation, and personal identity. For instance, in her “Juegos Ilegales/Illegal Games” installation (1999), visitors enter a labyrinth to play with large-scale casino-like interactive installations that explore the use of games of chance as metaphor for immigration and cultural dislocation.
Rosa Irigoyen has in recent years appropriated digital media and technology in order to “fight the maddening reductionism that insists on characterizing us as romantic pre-industrial paradises and as colonial victims of technology.”
Issues of collective memory are presented in her work as reconstructions not only from the perspective of what is possessed, intimate, and personal. They are studied representations of the recent history of otherness, where interaction with the pieces invites revisions of identity and hegemonic definitions of this other. Irigoyen uses digital processes as a postmodern tactic in the deconstruction of the universal ideals of medium integrity and as a facilitator of strategies of appropriation and re-signification.
In Irigoyen’s work, the role of photographic image and its impurity in the digital processes has opened routes for her in the creation of alternative signifiers, recombinations, metaphors, and interrelations that challenge paradigms.