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Top: Panel 4; center: Panel 3

At The Margin, 1991-1992

This work is from 2-3-4-D: Digital Revisions in Time and Space, part of the residency series "Society and Perception: New Imaging Technology," organized by Senior Curator Ed Earle at the California Museum of Photography in 1991. Mr. Earle has described my project as “integrating computer technology with the California Museum of Photography's Keystone-Mast Collection of stereographs to examine the history of cultural perception, particularly of Central and South America.” In a number of works growing out of this residency I saw my role as one of taking liberties, both digitally and conceptually, with the original stereographs. The piece enclosed is a response to the ubiquitous monuments of Christopher Columbus (as New World “discoverer”) in city plazas throughout Latin America. Not only do these monuments (or photographs of them) distort the history of the Americas; but the monument sculptures themselves are often quite racist or sexist in concept, showing a dominant Christopher Columbus in some kind of paternalistic relationship to the “native” population.

At the Margin, specifically, revises a 1939 image of the Columbus monument in the city of Trujillo, Dominican Republic (sterograph #37476, “Statue of Columbus, Ciudad Trujillo, The Dominican Republic,” found in the Keystone-Mast Collection, California Museum of Photography, Riverside). It brings the two figures who are both literally and symbolically marginalized — the black woman from the left edge of the print and the Indian woman reaching from the base of the monument — into the center, muting or subduing the Christopher Columbus figure in the process. The last panel (panel #4 in this 1992 version of the work) goes beyond the subversion of relationships internal to the original stereograph, interweaving an image of two Young Pioneer women whom I had photographed in Cuba in 1984. They in particular — and Cuba in general — represent for me a militant stance of autonomy in relation to European influence or North American dominance in this hemisphere.

—From the Artist Statement

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