Laberinto Projects Photo Gallery
This gallery represents some of the photography I took while in residence at Laberinto Projects, a now-defunct artist residency in El Salvador. In 2018, I went on a solo retreat to visit my mother's native country for the first time in my life. The residency was located less than 10 minutes from my mother's village, which she had not seen since El Salvador's civil war (1979-1992). The grand house overlooking Lago de Coatepeque (Lake Coatepeque) guarded a unique archive of Central American art from the 1960s-2000s. This archive stemmed from a collection founded by gallerist Janine Janowski, a Holocaust survivor who started a new life in El Salvador. Her daughter, Muriel Hasbun, a world-renowned Salvadoran photographer, started the residency in honor of Janine and her art collection. By the time I came to Laberinto, I was an eager MFA candidate at The City College of New York and the first artist to visit in months. For decades, Muriel had lived in Maryland, working as a professor at the Corcoran School of Art and then George Washington University while overseeing the residency from afar. Meanwhile, the house was gathering dust. Insects and small animals found their way inside the building. I was mesmerized by this seemingly haunted hacienda on the edge of a turquoise-colored crater lake, nestled by volcanos. Beyond the residency's walls, gangs and poverty—legacies of the civil war and among my mother's reasons for never returning—abounded. Yet beyond and within those walls also lied the nature that my mother fondly recalled. These photos capture the experience of living in a diasporic artist residency during its end days. - Written December 2023
This work was supported by the CCNY Art Department Travel Award. It served as the basis for a pitch to Columbia's MODA Critical Review for a piece scheduled to be published in the 2024 issue . View documentation of my MFA thesis exhibition, which was inspired by this residency, here.