Artist Statement / Ancestral Memories
Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet
Informed by creative strategies originating in the Maya, Kairibe, US Latina/o, Afro, Canarian, and Arab Caribbean imagined geographies, my creative work maps the locations of my nomadic journeys to echo the territory of birth, and to connect the ancestral memory of my grandparents with the United States and Yucatan transnational locations where I live as a Mariel Cuban exile. My artwork articulates two distinct journeys: one guided by Indigenous, West African and US Latina/o cosmic geometries; and another commenting on the body, the landscape and the moving images. In both, I map, with different creative gestures and cultural expressions the intersection of the social and the subjective, the natural and the cosmos, the sacred, the mind and the body, the cognitive, the sensorial and the affective. My artwork and critical practices emerge within interconnections from the US/Latino, Caribbean, African and Cuban Diasporas to enunciate an intercultural and interethnic dialogue, a poetic and historical exchange in conversation with the ancestral memories of mis abuelos, my grandparents and their ancestries.
My work has been deeply influenced by migration, creating a constant need for augmenting the locations I have encountered during the journeys: the absence of the native landscape as a product of displacement by political and ideological forces. Although, I am immersed in an ongoing interplay-mixing of the transnational experience, photographing and videotaping the landscape is the result of the amazing inspiration produced by the dynamics of the locations where I have lived and by the experience of displacement in my traveling. I try to portrait a trace that is not the “apparent reality,” encompassing the instant as the artwork echoes the native territory invoked in the enunciation of the nomadic journey to creates a distance, a geo-political shift in the position of the enunciation where I, the artist/media maker employing the transmodern aestheSis, anticipate realism with a doses of nostalgia and the invention of a new ‘geography.” My work presents the transmigrant fugacity blending with the duration of the piece and the imagination of the viewer/user. Nomadism acts against the conventional rules of architecture that of the fixed notion involving matter and energy. Information technology has forced us to represent the architectural space in relation to time and speed. My media artwork questions the space of flow and the configuration of hybrid territories whose visual and functional design incorporates the presence of the viewer/user, as well as the intangible locations.
Many of my drawing, printmaking, painting and mixed media practices are distant from what is known as “reality” in the western sense because I sense a cosmic geometry large than the cartesian 3D configuration. My media artwork travels to deeper levels of the subconscious where the reconstruction of the experiences, via the montage and sequential rhythms to allow the formation of an imagined location where the audience could enact a delinking from the oppressions stored in our bodies. I constanly aim to heal the historical memory, tracing a composite portrait of the diverse roots of my interethnic subjective diasporic exile self.