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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Ileana Hernandez

Ileana
Hernandez

SPE Member since 2017
Member Chapter: Northeast

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Mommy, what is this?
Archival inkjet print

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Stickers
Archival inkjet print

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Run Hide Fight
Archival inkjet print

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
YFRIMBF
Video

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Mirror
Mixed media

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Life is sh
Archival inkjet print

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Dollar Bill
Mixed media

Ileana Hernandez

SPE member since 2017
Plastic Selfie
Archival inkjet print

about

For Mexicans, especially for those who live close to the border, it's common to refer to United States as "the other side of the puddle", a place where everything is better. In 2011, when my husband was asked by his company to immigrate to the States, we didn't think it twice. It was our opportunity to live in the first world.

There's a saying in Mexico about situations that turned out not quite as expected, which could be translated as "You left Guate-mala (bad) to go to Guate-peor (worst)". It never occurred to me that moving here would be a questionable choice, until the last election. My beliefs of how I thought America was, as a country, have been challenged in the last couple of years.

Recently I started a project that I call "My Americans", which is my critical commentary about the current state of the American society, highlighting issues like gun culture, war conviction, social media abuse and excessive use of plastic that contributes to pollution. My Americans is a project that remarks the differences of how I thought it was like living here and what I have been actually experiencing.

Drawing upon the capabilities of photography and video, I work with objects to illustrate my perspective. I find interesting how lifeless objects become representations of ideas or emotions, much like photographs, as we categorize them and attach meaning to them.

As an immigrant, as a woman, as a mother and as an artist, I feel it's my duty to focus on issues that are relevant to society. I am passionate about using my skills as image maker to create visual activism. It is my wish for My Americans to become a path for reflection and dialogue.

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