‘Liminal Monuments’ is a solo exhibition of embroidered textile works exploring Latinx identity, ancestral iconography and commemoration by Ottawa-based artist Claudia Gutierrez. In collaboration with photographer Pat Bolduc, images of Gutierrez’s pieces exhibited alongside the objects adds a narrative quality. The textiles are held in the arms of Latinx subjects—including Gutierrez and her sisters—obfuscated in a dream-like blur of the camera. For Gutierrez, memories are like dreams: liminal spaces distorted by our past, present and future. They are an unstable, shifting foundation for personal identity.
Gutierrez’s embroidered works draw on the powerful history of textiles as symbols of national identity. Her pieces reference rebozos (shawls traditionally worn by Mexican women), paliacates (the bandanas worn by Zapatistas, the predominantly Indigenous rebel group that has been in conflict with the Mexican state for decades), as well as the hoop earrings that are central to Chicana culture, a shared identity of some Mexican Americans. As a first generation Canadian born to a Uruguayan mother and Mexican father, Gutierrez herself oscillates between heritages, customs, symbols, and languages. What are the icons of diasporic identity? Which events and people are commemorated? Perhaps, Gutierrez posits, it is something always out of reach—always shifting and changing, layered in space and time—something more like a dream or a memory.
Claudia Gutierrez is an artist and activist whose practice has been deeply informed by residencies in Canada and Mexico. Her practice engages in textile, printmaking, and painting mediums. Gutierrez has been exhibiting her work in Ontario and Quebec, Canada since 2010 and has completed numerous public art and cultural outreach projects in Ottawa. She was awarded the SAW Prize for New Works in 2020, is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and was recently awarded a major public art project with Canadian Heritage. In addition to her artistic practice, Gutierrez works as a curator and arts administrator.
Claudia Gutierrez gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council.
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