Hay una vieja que está enamorada
As both a conceptual and physical gesture, I placed my grandmother’s rocker in the haunted post-colonial landscapes of her native Panama.
I strategically inserted an embodiment of her/our presence amidst the ruins of Spanish and American architectural dominion.
The rocker suggests the potential for movement, for participation, even as it evokes absence, tactical silence, playful absurdity and mystery.
Literally translated, the title of the series means, “There is an old woman in love.” But it is also a Panamanian folk saying used to describe the magical tropical moment when the sun shines even as rain falls from the sky.
This poetic entendre seemed fitting to me as I thought about my mixed family narratives, the historical incidents and accidents that created not only these layered architectural spaces in Panama but also our diasporic family trajectories through military labor, intermarriage with Americans and transnational movements.