Artist's Statement

Muriel Hasbun

Barquitos de papel / paper boats
Video and interactive mixed-media installation
3:19 minutes.

barquitos de papel shows images of the last week of my father’s life as he and I made paper boats together, while also alluding to the role of lens-based media in the telling of our family’s stories of migration. The installation also beckons to the public to add their own paper boats to the space, inscribed with their own families’ stories of migration. The barquitos de papel collective archive continues to grow each time this piece is shown.

Pax Tecum Filomena
Photo & Video installation
1:57 minutes

An intense war zone during the civil war, the last time I had been anywhere near the Eastern part of the country was when I was 15, a few years before I left El Salvador to come to the United States. Seeing my cousin Janet’s picture (a.k.a. Filomena) amongst the fallen heroes and martyrs at the Museo de la Revolución thrust me into a charged psychological space where past and present merged, opening the wounds of traumas not completely healed.

May peace be with you.

Documented: The Community Blackboard
Interactive audio installation
2:42 minutes

A site-specific, interactive and transnational space created for the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. (2006), with family photographs gathered during my Fulbright residency in El Salvador. The audio installation invites the public to add their family photos and write their own migration story onto the museum walls while a collage-like bilingual sound piece, streaming into the space, weaves together my own reflections on migration as gathered from oral testimonies and other aural impressions recorded in El Salvador, as well as from excerpts of poems that I wrote when I first came to the U.S. in 1980.