Dilmar M. Gamero Santos, MFA 2019

March 20 - 23, 2019

Opening Reception March 22, 6-8pm

Artist Statement

My research-based practice incorporates the use of photography, film and video, transcending the specifics of the medium and offering a new understanding of the world, stressing the conceptual art-making capacities of each medium.

My visual art practice is related to my work and studies in philosophy, theology, art education, audiovisual communication, outreach and volunteering. I spent many years working with people who lived in very poor conditions in the Peruvian Andes. This experience has shaped who I am as an artist/person.

My experiences in Peru and other countries has led me to question social realities, to ace internal struggles, to open my mind to new knowledge and life experiences.

My primary focus over the last decade has been to explore the cultural and religious identity of Peruvian rituals and festivals, especially in the village of Paucartambo through its biggest celebration: Mamacha Carmen (mamacha is the quechua word for mother). While I explore the identity of Paucartambo, at the same time I am exploring my own identity, belonging and connection to this town and its people.

Rituals are intrinsic to the Peruvian people and their centuries-old culture. Despite the influence of technology, migration and globalization, these ritual celebrations preserve their essence and reconnect families and friends with their own traditions and identities My work tries to be a bridge that connects these different and complementary worlds to connect myself with my own personal identity.

The experience of researching and writing a book on Mamacha Carmen utilizing my photographs illustrates the importance of visualization of my personal journey and its influence on my projects.

Current research has led me to rephotography. Through this examination, with my incorporation of video techniques, I continue to explore my identity beginning with a time and a place that predate my existence.

Working with digital tools and alternative traditional printing processes, my work is helping me to open my horizons and to cross the boundaries established between being an outsider and an insider in the different cultures that are part of my life.