The Argentina Project

The Argentina Project, a month long performance while staying in Buenos Aries, Argentina, during the spring of 2004, was an exploration of the monthjust before my biological mother gave birth to me. Since I am adopted, I have often wondered what her life was like, especially during the days leading up to my birth.

These photographs represent the only pictures where we would have been seen together. Because it was the 1970s and she was an underage, unwed young girl, I doubt her family took any pictures of her during her condition. I explored various barrios, or neighborhoods, throughout Buenos Aries, from all socio-economic backgrounds. I wore a wig, prosthetic belly and 1970s-inspired clothing to try and capture a particular mood. I was born in 1973 during the Dirty War, when many innocent people were taken from the streets, never to be found again. I chose a grainy fast film to shoot the project to imitate newspaper clippings of missing persons.

This woman, my biological mother, has disappeared. I found a note in my national registry file from a doctor who described a young girl and her mother. They wanted to give the baby girl up for adoption. The doctor admitted that the young girl gave birth to me under an assumed name in a hospital they would they would not disclose. She did not sign the birth certificate. She is a ghost to me now and so the only way I could see her was to conjure her out of thin air.