Armando Roman

Denison University

The mythology of a family provides seemingly endless possibilities for creation. The space that a family inhabits is seemingly private, with memories that only a select few are able to understand. These memories—joyful, humorous, traumatic, and painful— all exist within the context of a home and its various objects that hold these memories. My practice serves as an exercise in accessing memories. With the objects I photograph I choose to unravel what is queer and what is domestic to viewers. I am increasingly drawn to objects, photographs, and imagery that have an association with domesticity and my upbringing while also simultaneously holding a queer aesthetic, which can be as related to decoration as a quilt, or as complex as the paneling on the garage of my childhood home. Objects serve as vessels for memory.

The imagery in my work spans from iconography of my Mexican-American identity, the subsistence of Catholicism in my life, and queer iconographic practices. Activating these objects through photography in conversation with my queerness and my experience inhabiting private spaces creates a tension between shared visual identities that cannot always coexist. Through my documentation, I aim to create a pattern of visibility through color, ornament, and kitsch that complicates my understanding of familial histories. In employing these tactics, I am acutely aware of the histories that they carry. I employ tactics of color and pattern because of their historical associations with primitivism, otherness, and ethnic difference.

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