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La Sirena (The Mermaid)
Ernesto Cabral de Luna

44" x 22" Inkjet print of image transferred onto corroded copper plate

Inspired by 20th century Mexican Exvotos (retablos), votive paintings made on sheets of tin serving as a form of gratitude to a religious figure, this series is a study of memory, immigration and exile – focusing on how personal archives facilitate the construction and struggle to retain an individual and cultural identity.

Alberto Manguel speaks on how the artist in exile’s "faithful memory will betray his country’s present reality - the exile sees the country as it never is... everything he does is colored by something half remembered... it is a country drawn from memory, from things half known or half dreamt, and the exiled doesn't ask too earnestly if there really is a difference.” Reinterpreting and appropriating my parents’ photographs of them growing up in Mexico by transferring them onto a corroded copper plate allows me to work through my relationship to absence, nostalgia, and the faulty functions of memory.

Ernesto Cabral de Luna is a Mexican lens-based artist working in Toronto.  Drawing from his immigrant experience, Ernesto explores themes of identity and representation, creating mixed media work that emphasizes the multi-dimensionality and materiality of the image.  His image manipulations provide new ways to experience recognizable imagery. 

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