Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts
Cheryl Shurtleff-Young, M.A.
Family histories are hard to pass on when the native language of one's culture is no longer passed on to the next generation. Growing up between two cultures has created a void that is considerably complex. Nuevas Narrativas: Translation of Family History represents the dynamics involved with deciphering my grandfather's migration story. This investigation within family narratives illustrates the dynamics within reception, translation, and transcription of traditional narratives.
In this installation, I engage the reception of my grandfather's migration story as a way of addressing how foreign languages and historical narratives create displacement through time. The context for this work lies in the viewer's identification with objects of a specific history altered to visually represent personal transformation.
This work utilizes sound as a medium for communicating the various levels of displacement encountered when translating foreign languages. It is by this process of translation that transcripts are made and eventually read aloud in an attempt to map out a specific history. This process of mapping the story is an attempt at familiarizing myself to my grandfather's history and as author Johannes Fabian states, "to be knowingly in each other's presence we must somehow share each other’s past."1
Delgado, Migel A., "Nuevas Narrativas: Translation of Family History" (2011). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 221.