My grandmother smuggled a piece of her grandmother’s jasmine across the border that lies between Mexico and America. She tucked the stem behind the waistband of her pants and brought it to her home in America where she planted it by the window of the house I grew up in. The jasmine eventually flowered in the new país it was placed in, a short drive north of the one it originally came from.
I grew up on an in-between line; the border between Mexico and America, never really feeling like I belonged to any particular place. I developed a nomadic sense of placelessness that never seemed to go away anywhere I lived. I started using photography as a defense against being visually digested. It has become my way of resistance, of fighting the feeling that I have to prove myself, of keeping you away.
I never saw myself on TV; that once foreign object that taught me to speak English and assimilate in this place. From my frizzy-thick hair, my dulce de leche skin, to my hairy body, I had to create a self-reference, but in the way I want you to see me. I want to tarnish your pristine image of purity and cleanliness; an immaculate lie that concealed me until I figured out how to love myself. I seduce you by creating an illusion that at first feels familiar, then deceives you.
I carved a place for myself and am forcing you to look at me.