Carmina Eliason

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Carmina Eliason’s work is inspired by her interest in cultural anthropology, the observation of social interaction, and the power of commonplace living and domestic spaces. Her artwork is based on themes of growth and empowerment and is often inspired by her personal life experiences, her family history, and her identity as the daughter of an immigrant. In addition to teaching and creating community, Eliason is a photographer and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at San Jose State University.

Artist Statement

Monterrey, Mexico––My mother grew up in an impoverished neighborhood with muddy dirt roads. She was working her first job as a nurse in 1977 when one rainy night the corrugated metal roof began leaking and she used a piece of plastic to cover her head to try and sleep. In that moment, my grandmother felt sorry for her daughter and decided it was time to upgrade the home. Soon after, my mother took out a loan and began to upgrade the family’s home from a one room makeshift wood and adobe to a concrete four room home complete with matching living room set. Combining pre-digital snapshots of my family’s life in the urban city of Monterrey, Mexico with present day digital imagery and audio, I reconstruct stories of objects and memories found in my grandmother's home in Mexico.

My grandmother has passed away, but the house my mother helped to build still stands, and though it is now uninhabitable and falling apart, it still contains stories of the humble beginnings of our family. This work is an exploration of the relationship of space and time with memory and familial identity.

Exhibited Work

La casa de mi abuela(My Grandmother’s House)

2015
Images projected on screen with audio
Dimensions vary

About this Article

This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.

Sources