The Armory’s La Casita
805 N. Madison Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104
Each sign that comprises the Workbook Installation is a poem, created by separating the answers from my grandmothers ESL workbooks from the questions and prompts printed on the text. In this way, I hope to reveal the poems as representative of the individual, of the process of learning another language and as separate from an assimilated cultural identity. Each poem has breath to expand from its source and connect with a multiplicity of lived experiences.
This project is a two part work:
Workbook is an installation situated throughout the exterior garden at La Casita, the Armory’s community learning annex, where Argote will arrange over fifty white plastic signs that feature a series of handwritten verse. The presentation is inspired by the writings on the whiteboard inside La Casita, used predominantly by ESL learners, and extracted written text from her grandmother’s English grammar workbooks. On view October 2, 2016 through fall 2017
Notebook, an exhibition in the Armory’s Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery, features Argote’s 3D model of La Casita along with a book of retraced writings from her grandmother’s spiral notebook used during her own ESL education. Unlike the standardized nature of the grammar workbooks, the project’s source notebook is more personalized, containing phone numbers of the artist’s grandmother’s friends, birthdays, and other intimate notes in Spanish. The work offers a layering of two distinct experiences and questions what is lost in an attempt to retrace what has been done before. On view at the Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery, Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91103