© 2015 Tessie Barrera-Scharaga. Website designed by Gabrielle Scharaga

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Twenty-Five

Mixed-media installation incorporating clay, wedding dress, steel, photographs, and drawing.

L14'xW8'xH10'

2009

 

Twenty-Five addresses the role of women as cultural agents. Our first teachers are our mothers and grandmothers. Traditionally, they initiate us into the behaviors, expectations, and customs of our culture of origin. They provide the stories of our families, communities, and homelands. Women, as carriers of cultural characteristics, go forth into the world bringing these traits wherever they go. In the history of humanity, from ancient times to the present, life-changing events like war, conquest, slavery, or famine, have forced ordinary women to migrate. Upper class and/or titled women were forced into marriage to cement economic or political connections, on behalf of family and country. Whether by will or by force, in new situations away from their original home, women pass on to their children the fundamental aspects of their culture of origin. Everything from language, outlook, and values to the more quotidian aspects, like fashion and cuisine. Women’s actions have historically spread and disseminated culture, gradually permeating places and societies, influencing and changing them into new hybrids.