North America

Liz Hernández
Monumento a la mujer de las dos almas (Monument to the Two-Soul Woman)

Monumento a la mujer de las dos almas consists of a hand-carved stone sculpture that features two side-by-side
nude, female figures, broken up into nine equal parts forming a grid. One of the figures has her arms folded and the
other is embracing her, as if in a private conversation.

The work speaks to experiences of migration, and the tension resulting from being caught between multiple
countries, cultures, and histories, and the complex feelings toward the ideas of homeland and individual identity.

In the work, the two figures are actually two aspects of the same person portrayed in an unspoken or untranslatable
dialog. Here the artist shows how migration can be a catalyst for self-discovery, compelling individuals to redefine
their identities. The use of stone is an attempt to materialize an immaterial, fleeting experience while bringing
personal narratives of migration in a collective historical context, similarly to other types of monuments.
This glyph, representing “xochitl in cuicatl” or “song and flower,” embodies the concept of poetry. The resulting
monument pays homage to the inhabitants of what Hernández calls the “country of memory,” fostering collaboration between her Californian and Mexican personas. Rather than harboring suspicion or distrust, the figures in the sculpture embrace the idea of collaboration in the interest of evolving beyond conflict to create something new.

Liz Hernández’s work often blurs the space between the real and the imaginary and examines the dialogue between inherent and constructed identity through a variety of techniques—painting, sculpture, embroidery, and writing. Her work is deeply influenced by the craft traditions of Mexico, and investigates the language of materials and the different stories they tell. She draws inspiration from a variety of sources including literature, anthropology, syncretism, oral traditions, and her surroundings, focusing on departures from quotidian life. Through storytelling, her work is infused with autobiographical elements, fostering collaborations with family, friends, and her environment.