In Mestizaje: Intermix-Remix, I was part of the showcase comprising eight Latinx artists (identifying as Chicano, Chilean, Colombian, Mixteco, Mexican, and Mexican-American) exploring what it means to claim a mixed-race identity consisting of both Indigenous and European descent.
The concept of mestizo (having Spanish-Indigenous ancestry) originated in the sixteenth century as part of a racial designation system created by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers in what is now considered Latin America. Today, the violent and lasting impacts of colonization can be difficult to fully comprehend.
Without seeking definitive conclusions or definitions I, along with artists Marcela Rodríguez Aguilar, Luis Fitch, Bobby Marines, Dougie Padilla, Maria Cristina Tavera, Xavier Tavera, and Vlocke Negro explore questions of ancestry and identity.
This exhibition was on view in the M’s public-facing windows and skyway entrance. It was Curated by Dougie Padilla and Xavier Tavera, founders of the artist collective Grupo Soap del Corazón. Learn more about Grupo Soap del Corazón here.
In an interview with Carleton College, Xavier Tavera said, “Mestizaje is a word that the Spaniards came up with when they arrived. It’s a colonizing word, and it means mixed. The exhibition asks, ‘What does it mean to be mestizo?’ What does it mean that we are part of two cultures? How do we assimilate that? Repel it? Fight it? There are a lot of questions, and there is a constant fight in our bodies and in our minds.”