the irony and the ecstasy

by urquiza!

the ancestral land: arturo no. three

mr. churro arturo no. one (link)

after the grand canyon arturo no. two (link)

he likes to present himself as absolute, an urquiza family trait probably something we brought from spain. even in the family home everything has a finality as well, but like all fathers it seems they relent eventually. you can see the dialogue between lisa his wife, devon and tristen that either support or challenges the hierarchy. in this world his daughter devon is his hope. he believes she is greater than the sum of he and lisa, while tristen is his innocence. it is the self he keeps hidden from everyone. there is a photograph my sister carmen took of him with his cousin loui as boys playing on a big wheel tricycle. i think that moment or perhaps that photograph helped define him. photography is tricky business like that, does it project? or does it reflect?

these images took place during our expedition of sorts to visit the town of his great grandparents and where our branch of tapias in the united states grew from. globe, arizona was once the capital and the county seat where francisco tapia owned the dodge dealership. he sold cars and trucks to the indians and mexicans. even as a dark skinned mestizo his wealth as local leader allowed him to participate in the mainstream white culture to an extent. arturo is highly assimilated into american culture, but desires to understand his origins or perhaps find some cloak to define himself. sitting in the globe church that our ancestors may have sat in, i asks the same questions of myself. but also, this place is one step closer to Isabel his grandmother, who grew up here with her sisters playing among the pueblo ruins before it was turned into a park and visitors center. closer to my grandmother felicitas who would sit on the hilltop old western cemetery to tend the gravestones of the unknown with my mother. just as isabel did with me in the cemeteries of los angeles. he does not walk alone into the future, lisa, devon and tristen all walk resolute together through the desert to where they are going.

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