In “Autorretratos que exploran la identidad” [Self Portraits that Explore Identity] El Nuevo Día announces a new exhibition by Brenda Cruz Díaz. Her exhibition, “Retrato de una (de)colonizada” [Portrait of a Colonized Woman], opened on May 10, 2019, at El Bastión cultural center in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The artist explains that her purpose is “to rewrite history and to give visibility to those who were not part of it.”
“The series of self-portraits releases continuous references from the present to the past of my native island, transforming me into a hypothetical alter ego through clothing, taking on different roles that allow me to adopt as many identities. In this way, with a different degree of closeness or distance to my own context in the 21st century—through the games of fiction that photography allows me—I analyze multiculturalism and colonial cultural baggage, as well as my reality as a woman, a mulatta, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Antillean, and Spanish by adoption,” explained Cruz Díaz.
At times, the artist shows her racialized body to claim her African origins, and in others, she visually expresses the religious syncretism that she participates, as well as the relationships with the island that are created through living in the diaspora and the connections between different cultures, religions, and races. The reflection on “the colonial” in this series is established by reviewing the hegemonic historical discourses in which colonial power has focused on an assessment of classes, the white man’s gaze, patriarchy, stigmas and stereotypes about the black body, woman and her invisibility. [. . .]
Translation of excerpts by Ivette Romero; for full article (in Spanish), see https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/autorretratosqueexploranlaidentidad-2492699/