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María’s Great Expedition

1995-1996 Christina Fernandez Born: Los Angeles, California, USA 1965 five gelatin silver prints, one chromogenic print, one inkjet print, and bilingual narrative dimensions variable Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 1996, Christina Fernandez 2012.11A-H Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Fernandez’s installation mimics a museum display that recounts the story of early explorers of the Southwest. Fernandez photographed herself in the guise of her great-grandmother María González, the first member of her family to migrate to the United States from Mexico. The accompanying narrative details how González and other Mexican Americans settled in places such as Arizona, Texas, and California. The artist’s fictive photographs, which reflect the shifting conventions of early to mid-twentieth-century photography, highlight the constructed nature of all historical accounts.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013


installation art