Cristina Figueredo Zizold: Artist Statement

Spare Parts (Piezas de Repuesto)

 

The Spare Parts (Piezas de Respuesto) Series is a deep emotional interpretation of piecing together what is left of one part of my family history, as well as my identity of being Cuban American.

It is a multi media work using as a base my late grandfather Armando Framil’s original home films he personally filmed in the 1950’s in Cuba.
This series is an homage to my family and to other Cuban families, who collectively struggle to maintain a Cuban history and identity, even through the trials of distance, time and politics.

I identify with being an American, and yet there is a past that I feel an unrelenting need to piece together: my parents and grandparents reality. When they came to the United States they continuously recalled a beautiful island, immortalized in their minds… and yet those stories are just that, stories…

As I have never lived in Cuba “Spare Parts” are what are left for me to piece together and to recreate a history that makes sense to me.

In this Series, it is important to note that many made this work possible: my grandfather who filmed the original footage, my great-grandmother who salvaged and sent the rolls of film to the US (despite guards at the Havana airport taking them apart to check for espionage material), my mother and siblings who organized and catalogued the entangled ribbons of film, and my grandmother who helped me choose important scenes from the footage by recalling them and recounting the stories behind the films.

My desire for piecing together these fragments of history is based in part on the trauma of my parents and grandparents who decided to leave a beautiful island and their memories in search for freedom.

So, this series is a tribute to my family and to other Cuban families. It is to the people who fall in my generation who have not seen the Cuba that many talk about, as well as to the older generations who remember an island full of richness and culture, who willingly or unwillingly, had to leave the land behind… but took their wonderful memories with them, in bits and pieces, which make up my generations “Spare Parts”.

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