December 2005: Proposal selected for the DMA travel grant
I am someone for whom the American dream dies hard. Most of my creative heroes are of the American continent:
Bob Dylan, Jorge Luis Borges, Cormac McCarthy, to name only a few. Yet, my love of country probably lies lost in
myth. In reality I suspect we are more and more becoming a shallow culture based mainly on mobility and
The map of the US has figured in my work now for more than 20 years. Always with Baja balancing Florida,
leaving intact the suggestion that our land is on loan and never really the America we pretend to own. On
my map the border lies like a rope in the dirt, more malleable than ink on paper --- as if to ask, what is America? Just us?
My travel request is to Peru. To experience the southern hemisphere of the continent; to expose
myself to another way…not just the Madre de Dios, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, but that which I may find without
knowing beforehand that I’m looking for it.
Peru also serves as the locus of a place where the sacred lies in Pagan and Christian forms in equal measure,
if not in equal balance. A history of violence and colonialism (as is our own) where the church and its
representatives stand before the mute being that is the jungle…the wildness at the heart of all things, bound by borders, cultures, histories…
I want to be there and check these things out.