Week 6

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#reading #writing #wondering

The last week has been a whirlwind of research, writing, and grant applications. M & I submitted two grant proposals: one for Idea Hub at UCSC and one for Big Ideas at UC Berkeley. Fingers crossed that we make it past the first round and get some cash money. 

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Week 6 has felt 'off' since I was doing less production, and instead was more focused on doing readings for a paper due next month. Not only that, but it was super gray and overcast, which always puts me in a weird mood. Although it's undiagnosed, I think that I suffer from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which usually starts around this time of year. It was nice to spend some time in the library huddled around books though.

My research paper is tentatively titled: 

Reclaiming the Wunderkammer for Mestizx Political Expression.

It explores the historical usage of the wunderkammer, or cabinet or wonder, and its influence on the New World during the Age of the Discovery in the 16th century. Through the examination of Amalia Mesa-Bains' New World Wunderkammer, I will examine how this colonial practice of 'collecting' is being reclaimed by contemporary mestizx installation artists as means of political and personal expression. 

I had the pleasure of seeing Mesa-Bains' New World Wunderkammer in 2013 at the Fowler Museum while I was an undergraduate student at UCLA. The piece was created as part of the museums' 50th Anniversary series, Fowler at Fifty. The New World Wunderkammer  brought to life artifacts from both indigenous and colonial times, and honored them through the ritualistic process of ofrendas or temporary offerings. The Wunderkammer was incredibly personal to me as someone who has a mixed, mestizx heritage, and who has always been a collector: from crystals to small boxes that my father would bring me from business trips. Seeing an artist with a similar heritage do the same kind of work was and is still incredibly heart-warming and powerful. ϕ

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Zoe Sandovaldanm, mfa, writing