The Family Portraits, Chapter 1. Testimony A-1

Washington DC, US 2017

The Family Portraits, Chapter 1. Testimony A-1 2017Washington Memorials, DC, USHD video, audio, single-channel 06:11 (excerpt)Camera, performative action: Livia Daza-ParisEditor: Alba Daza
TESTIMONY A-1–A conversation with my (imagined) granddaughter
Yes, this was a long time ago. This is my mother, my father and me, at the memorials in Washington D.C. Your great-grandparents are 20 and 22 years old in the picture, and I am 50 years old. In this other picture, it is me and your great-great-grandmother Lucia, and your great-grandfather Iván and his brother Raúl. You, my darling, look so much like my mother Irma, your great-grandmother. We made these visits to the memorials every day for two weeks. We took our time there. We were surprised to find that being at the memorials felt like being in ancient temples in Greece. And, this picture? That’s at the Jefferson Memorial. In this other one, we’re at the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial. I have wondered if these memorials have a memory, a consciousness of the empire they represent, of what they did to us. But so, what if they do? Shouldn’t we have the right to say something about those memories as well?
Oh, it is a long story—one with a beginning that I don't really know and an end that I wish I did not know. And yet, we were there, and we claimed these monuments to be witnesses of our family resilience, of our love. And you, my sweetheart, now you know this much and you can take it with you in life. We were there. And now through you, here we continue to be.
The short story above is part of my article The Visits (Of Which There Were None) published in print and online on ANYWHERE V. II by Project Anywhere and Parsons Fine Arts, The New School NYC and Victoria College of Arts 2018. Blind peer-reviewed. Full text:
This video The Family Portraits, Chapter 1. Testimony A-1 won the 2018 Videoarte International Prize at “Visiones del Arte” awarded at MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo and UNAM Universidad Nacional Autónoma México.
The Family Portraits, Chapter 1. Testimony A-1 has been presented at Optica Gallery, in Montreal, QC, group exhibition Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras, curated by Nuria Carton de Grammont, January-March 2020; and at Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, UK; group exhibition THEOREM 2018, Theory as practice and practice as theory; curated by Jane Boyer.