Artist's Statement

Muriel Hasbun

archival pigment prints on Canson Edition Etching Rag (ed. of 6) and on anodized aluminum plates (ed. of 3), at 12”x18”/20”x30” with larger sizes planned.

Is it possible to trace our journey through a visual record of the land’s pulses? Can we metaphorically inscribe our personal and cultural legacies onto the land and in the process make it our “terruño” and diasporic homeland? Can we repair misrepresentation and erasure?

“Pulse: New Cultural Registers” is a visual registry for the future, reframing the cultural legacy of El Salvador during the 1980s and 1990s using personal and historical archives. It imprints the rescued archive of the renowned Galería el laberinto --an epicenter of cultural activity during the Salvadoran civil war, founded by my late mother Janine Janowski-- along with my own photographic archive of the time onto the national seismographic record of El Salvador. The constructed photographs transform the land into a fully lived and witnessed “thirdspace” of memory and art, while mapping personal and collective history into a new meeting ground for a more hopeful, nuanced, dignified, and restorative future.

Transnational dialogue and decolonial visual representations are urgent. With 2 million Salvadorans living in the United States, we are the 3rd largest Latinx population, and the largest immigrant group in the Washington, D.C. area. I invite the public to celebrate us, to get to know us, and to empathize with us through the recognition of our art, culture and personal stories.