In this series of performances I reenact my family’s past and the histories I was born into. I analyze myself as a subject, and explore the ways these stories intersect with my family’s culture—filled with hyperdramatic soap operas, sexism, and religious undertones. After being exposed to soap operas from a young age, I always thought about the possibility of embodying several different characters. Using my body as the vessel, I use performance to enact the real characters and personalities of my family.
My uncle, Enrique Gonzalez Torres, was a Jesuit priest. In 1987, he brought a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. As a child, I always envisioned the painting as a trophy of my uncle’s achievement. With this object he was able to bring Mexican faith to New York. A series of performances reenact and reimagine this story: I take a pilgrimage from my studio to St. Patrick’s carrying a cross, trying to reach the painting. I remove objects from the cathedral as a means of recuperating that Mexican faith that my uncle once brought. In the resulting multimedia installation, my interactions are displayed and curated with video, sound, and sculpture. By exposing my family structures, I allow the viewer to enter an alternate reality, dictated by historic Mexican culture and filtered through dramatization and the utopian surrealism of life in New York. www.etraverbarbabosa.com