The cycle of consumption and disposal that rules contemporary culture is one of the primary themes I work with. My work alters familiar forms of consumer culture: mass-produced printed ephemera, a child’s toy, a canned beverage, a sex toy. I’m interested in how these items construct culture and inform my identity as a consumer, a woman, and a producer of printed matter. In a recent series of wall panels layering lithographs, collage, and risographs, I combined Mary Cassatt etchings, Hudson River School paintings, spring break flyers, American beer labels, tabloid rags, and self-portraiture. These sources provide equal opportunities for comical inversions, satire, critique, and inquiry. This is how I’m doing, this is the land I love speaks to the anxiety of consumption and disposal, and how this dizzying process unfolds on my body and popular culture at large.
My husband Rodolfo and I have been producing work together under the name COCHINANASTY since 2012. Through performance, installation, and printmaking, we address labor, new economies, and changing landscapes, all the while grappling with our own identities as citizens and artists. Humor is important to us as an entryway to our art, and we often use our own bodies in our work.
In January 2018 we performed Sanctuary, a public intervention, at Anish Kapur’s Cloudgate, in which we covered ourselves with silver emergency blankets. Our pathetic attempt to mimic the sculpture and hide under the blankets evinces the false promise of assimilation and protection. In the photographs of the intervention, the blankets are transformed by Cloudgate’s reflective surface into an alien landscape.
Most recently, we exhibited together at the 2018 SAIC MFA thesis show at Sullivan Galleries. Rodolfo and I made silicone replicas of our heads and mounted them on levers which protruded from a false wall. We collaborated with an engineer to make a device which would make the heads periodically headbang against the wall to music. Headbanging is a form of release, and also an expression of frustration. Depending on the viewer, the piece is comical or disturbing: the heads are dreaming, smilling, or dead.
Much of our printed work as COCHINANASTY relates to New Mexican culture. The work often includes text, such as a series of lithographs based on photographs of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Ambiguous and macabre signs point to the rapid change of cities and socioeconomic stratification. I relate our use of manipulated, hand drawn CMYK separations and text to the documents of culture itself, and how they construct figurative and literal landscapes.