April 1 – May 23, 2021
Artist talk/Reception April 8, 2021 7 PM Eastern
For those without roots in a place, memory is essential to maintain a sense of continuity in life. Isabel Allende
Historias fragmentadas is a visual journal that I created over the course of five years. It was fueled by a sentiment of longing and nostalgia after the death of my grandmother, the family story keeper in 2015. This event brought me to look deeper into my past; to explore the paradox of memory and the emotion of loss as a way to reconnect with my Peruvian roots and honor those who came before me.
In this series, I create digital photo collages that unsettle the images of the past in a way that allows me to look through the cracks. By tearing, juxtaposing and layering archival family photographs, fragments from my journals, and objects from my childhood, I have shed light on a personal story within an ancestral story that spans generations. I also use staged imagery, mostly self-portraits, to explore moments in my life where I have inhabited liminal spaces, moments of transition and experiences of displacement, both physical and psychological.
This work tells the story of a particular middle-class Peruvian family through my own lens. I have chosen, with these images and writings, to release the voices and the haunting self-discovery that happened when I explored the stories behind iconic family photographs and their legends through my own personal mythology. – CRG
Claudia Ruiz Gustafson (b. 1973) is a Peruvian visual artist and curator whose practice engages photography, assemblage, poetry and artist book making. Her work is mainly autobiographical and self-reflective; her cross-cultural experience and Peruvian heritage deeply inform her art making. Claudia’s latest projects explore the stories of her Peruvian ancestors and aspects of her immigrant and liminal experiences. Her latest ongoing body of work Todas las Sangres aims to revisit her own history within the framework of the Bicentennial of the Independence of Peru in which she is in symbolic dialogue with historical characters to correct narratives within the imperialist gaze while attempting to decolonize the narratives from past and present.
Claudia has exhibited in museums and galleries across the US and abroad at venues including Danforth Art Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Newport Art Museum, Photographic Resource Center, Agora Gallery, Millepiani Gallery and Galleria Valid Foto. She is a 2020 Critical Mass 200 Finalist and 2020 Photo LA Top 20 Finalist.
Claudia has received grants and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Cambridge Art Association, L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards, PX3 de la Photographie Paris, The Gala Awards, among others and her work has been published in Fraction Media, Black & White Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, Float Photo Magazine, Aspect Initiative and Lenscratch.
Currently she is curator and participating artist of the traveling exhibition Crossing Cultures: Family, Memory and Displacement, a multi-media project made up of artwork created by multi-cultural artists reflecting on identity and diaspora.
She holds a BA in Communications (Comunicación para el Desarrollo) from Universidad de Lima, and a Professional Photography Certificate from Kodak Interamericana de Perú.