Christina Teruel, American Dream, video, 2019
This work examines the evolution of identity that is caused by an uncertain and unsettling realization of the absence of cultural heritage. Tradition of maintaining the cultural practice of patrimony and the ability to recognize oneself with the fellow ethnicity is unachievable. The interest in accessing this information has been withheld since childhood from the primary source- my father. As a child of a Filipino immigrant, experiencing modern day Westernization first-hand has depleted any source of cultural pride within my identity. Having the ability of not being able to associate with my father’s culture but being fully comfortable in associating myself with lower and middle class means of American entertainment, demonstrates how the shedding of his Filipino identity has caused major barriers in within own. Video performance is utilized to engage in this conversation of how the fantazation of the “American dream” affects the mentality of a person. Each scene illustrates the layers of complexity of having to deal with not only the absence of culture but the impact of American society on an immigrant.
Christina Teruel was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC. She currently is pursuing her Studio Art M.F.A with a concentration in Sculpture at Georgia State University. During her undergrad at Coastal Carolina University, she graduated with a dual degree in Studio Art and Graphic Design. She began to develop her studio education in metalsmithing and eventually evolved into working with contemporary and performance art. Metal, found objects and video are general mediums she works in. Her past work explored communication and how that can slowly dissipate through repetitive hollow gestures. It also examined the evolution of identity that is caused by an uncertain and unsettling realization of the absence of cultural heritage. Currently, Christina is investigating the themes of time and place through the concepts of reality and illusion. Growing up in a tourist community affected her perceptions of truth and emphasized that nothing lasts forever. She is utilizing ephemeral materials such as ice cream and cotton candy to expand upon these ideas of existence and authenticity.