As we see ourselves, so shall we be seen: identity and the artist’s practice
Martinez, Monica Mercedes
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I have always been at once fascinated and disquieted by the power of history to shape identity. As a Canadian raised on the Prairies, and a transplanted Chilean immigrant who has a combination of indigenous South American and European heritage, my ethnicity has made seeing only one side of any historical event a near impossibility. How does a person with a multi-faceted ethnic identity interpret the colonization of the Americas? From the view of the indigenous part of me, who mourns the millions lost, or of the European parts of me seeking a chance at a better life? Am I the slave or the slave owner, heathen or saint, explorer or exile, conqueror or conquered? Because of this dichotomy of viewpoints, my explorations of the effects of history, particularly the effects of cultural colonization on personal identity, have become one of the primary motivations for the sculptures that I create.