¡que rico! i just need you in the reel (2014) investigates my family’s displacements by tracing the relationships between absence and presence through morphing the digital, virtual realm into a more material experience by constructing physical elements that house the virtual via installation.

This temporary, site-responsive work, which resists institutionalization through its temporality, took form through the building of a darkroom; hand-painting the museum wall with light sensitive silver-gelatin emulsion, where I again exposed and developed the coated surfaces. The video source footage depicts myself eating ice-cream with a life-sized cut out of my recently deceased grandmother, in which I repeat the phrase ¡que rico!.

Mounted beneath the painted photograph rests a wooden mantel displaying a collection of offerings from chosen family, blending the virtual with the tangible, and biological with non-biological kinship. Though the work is difficult to read, a history hinting to my process remained marked on the wall. The objects resting on the mantel blocked light during the exposure and marked shadows on the wall; remnants of discolored photo chemicals dripped down the surface of wall; and beneath the piece are boxes displaying my test exposures. The struggle that is a part of both the creation and the reading of these images are, in part, the performance of its meaning.