Artist Statement

Cristina_Ibarra_Artist_Statement

Growing up on the border, my identity was formed by this third space that straddles two cultures and yet remains by-and-large outside of both the American and Mexican mainstream. My childhood playgrounds were my father’s junkyards, or yonkes, on both sides of the US/Mexico border. Transforming mismatched truck carcasses and metal parts into dollhouses or pirate ships gave me more than scraped knees and dusty jeans. I also experienced how my makeshift toys could convert a sick vehicle into a functional road warrior. In other words, it gave me something even more valuable — the power of metaphor, the aesthetics of recycling, and the will to dream. In short, a language of my own, that would lead me to filmmaking.
 
I am constantly searching for ways to come home, looking for meaning in my culture clashed memories. I have since learned to embrace this yonke approach in all my work – recycling, blending and modifying meaning and cultural symbols associated with both Mexico and the United States. Because that’s my identity; I am Spanglish, most comfortable on the border, mixing up Spanish and English, melodrama and realism, tradition and assimilation, narrative and documentary, to create my own vehicle of culture. As my work evolves, I continue to use both humor and drama, and to reference “high” culture and “low,” I combine the dramatic, documentary and spectacle, in order to examine culture through a new lens.