Class of 2022
Syncretism, or the merging of different cultures, is very much present in the traditions of my homeland, Puerto Rico. This mechanism has allowed non-hegemonic traditions to survive through melding with analogous proxies vested in hegemonic culture. My work aims to create a visual language around queer and non-binary bodies through the use of syncretism and Christian religious iconography. This use of syncretism allows for the integration of seemingly divergent interests in science, religion, queerness, and isolated components derived from Puerto Rican culture. Through anthropomorphic amalgams and fictitious devotional figures, I want to highlight the instability of gender itself in order to resist essentialist notions of queerness. My current research focuses on the relic, the milagro or ex-voto, and the deterioration that happens through time. It is my desire that through this hopeful revisiting and reframing of the past and its contradictions, I can cement these fictitious symbols in an imagined past and grant them a legacy in the future.