What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to be an American? What does it mean to be? What does it mean?
Existing in-between two seemingly opposing cultural identities begs these kinds of questions to be asked. As a person of Mexican descent born and raised in the United States, having roots several generations down the line since the journey from the motherland, I constantly question my cultural identity and my place in a society that seems to be shifting toward a growth of right-wing nationalism. Often times I, and people who share my identity, feel a pressure from both sides—we are “too American” for Mexicans, “too Mexican” for Americans—resulting in an identity crisis.
This installation is essentially the physical manifestation of that identity crisis. Explorations of what it means to be American, what it means to be Mexican, what my place is in the middle of these two pillars of cultural character, and the detriments of cultural identities tied to nationalism are sprawled across hand-typed pages. Incorporating elements of design and art, Document (n.) (v.) is the culmination of my two degrees, an unpacking of my thoughts and experiences as a third-generation Mexican American, and an existential exploration of an inherently political cultural identity.
Cathie Ruggie Saunders
Gloria Pacheco Edgar
Geoffrey Alan Rhodes