MIAMI Retrospective SOMArts

SOMArts exhibition : Projected Personae, July 22 to August 26, 2014


This installation is a memorial, a display of a life both fictitious and real. Un Adios.

What started as an amateur video webseries in 2009, became a 3 year long multifaceted performance project that allowed me to explore and confront the complexities of representing identity through humor, kitsch and appropriation via Miami, el personaje. Always dancing on the hyphen, Miami spoke in high speed spanglish, moved in booty shakes, was a self proclaimed Cuban “Exile food” chef extraordinaire and chongalicious fashionista. She claimed the notion of authenticity as hers and yours while simultaneously bringing it to question.

Intending to have her be an amalgamation of my experience, memory and cultural imprint as a Miamian, a daughter of Cuban exiles, and player of the embodiment of latin stereotypes still prevalent in mass and Latino media today, I’d like to think she also functioned as a mirror. She somehow gave people license to embody and perform their own notions of culture, usually at her. Contradiction always surfaced and the resulting material was bountiful with every performance, disturbingly so.

Distance can be quite revealing and in my distance from my home town, I appropriated and experimented with what resonated as a means of sifting through my feelings of otherness and displacement. The redundant “where are you really from” question planted the seed for Miami's birth. Miami took my art practice to many places all at once and at hyperspeed. Video production, costume design, culinary event coordinating and hosting, public engagement, indecent proposals, booty shaking contests, bass parties, cafecito pop-ups, and even a telenovela themed restaurant.

This installation encompasses every single piece that is left of her, outside of me that is.

¡Que en paz descanses Mami!