Featured Artists - September 2020 

Ella Rose Avery, Los Angeles.

Ava DeCapri, Chicago.


Laura Camila Medina
in conversation with Kendall Jacob

OM: As someone who does not speak Spanish, my immediate impulse was to use Google Translate to understand the title of this work. Recordar Es Construir... to remember is to build. But after doing so, I couldn’t help but think about the ways meaning can be lost or diluted in the process of translation, especially through technological means. A tension unfolded for me in that experience that feels in line with the handful of other dichotomies that I see in your work. To start, I’d really love to hear more about the title, how did you arrive there?

LCM: Though my intent is never to exclude someone, I want to evoke the questions around language and inclusivity. I think the lived experience of translating for my parents, of carrying a Spanish to English dictionary to ESL classes as a child, all influence the deliberate act of titling my work in Spanish. It only feels natural for a work so personal to exist within my mother tongue. I thought of this title very long ago, when I was contemplating the ways that the act of remembering changes or builds on itself to create the mental image of the past. I often get lost in thought about whether my memories are real or not, whether my current experiences and beliefs shape the memories in a different mold, and the ways stories and photographs reinforce certain memories. My practice consists of remembering, so I have allowed myself to validate my memories as real, they are as real as the memory landscapes I build in my work.

Dealing with the mechanisms of memory in your process, how do you relate to technology (often thought of as polished, exacting, an emblem of progress and perfection) as it intersects with more analogue modes of making and recording memories?

This question is very interesting actually, because despite my work existing within a virtual realm, I have left a lot of imperfections that occured in translation. For example, many of the 3D models in Recordar es Construir were made with polymer clay and then 3D scanned using an app called Qlone. While Qlone can scan a lot of information, it is still just a phone app so often there are discrepancies in the scan. Whether it’s muddled details, extra polygons, or just overall morphing of the object, there is a loss or distortion of information that happens in the process. I think this mimics our memory’s ability to transform, block, and reshape as we process our experiences. Even though there are similarities between memory processing in humans and computers, my work aims to evoke the handmade, the imperfect, the human hand and memory.....