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Elizabeth Cerejido

Absence is an exhibition about two recent events that have dramatically affected my life: my mother's diagnosis of the Alzheimer's disease and my father's sudden death a year and a half later. The title of the exhibition alludes to the absence of my father while also making specific reference to the gradual and inevitable absence of my mother's memory. I have chosen to photograph seemingly mundane objects that gain importance due to my mother's increasing inability to operate them. The notes on the refrigerator along with the instructions on how to use the telephone are just a small part of the daily reminders of her condition, and serve as markers of her gradual decline. The unplugged sewing machine becomes a symbol of her illness --a tool used in her lifetime profession as a seamstress now transformed into a furniture piece. Part of the process of living with this condition is the continuous problem of permanently misplacing things of everyday use. The black-and-white text describes some of the items she has lost, as well as that which will vanish in the future as her condition worsens.

The videos are a response to feeling overwhelmingly consumed by my mother's life after the passing of my father. A greater sense of place, a new set of responsibilities and a renewed perspective on identity also emerged from the process of filming my mother, following her throughout the very streets and places in Little Havana where I grew up and where she has lived for the last 33 years.

Though the source for this exhibition stems from very personal experiences, I feel there is a larger and more universal theme having to do with loss --intangible and tangible.

Elizabeth Cerejido

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