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Left: Óscar Díaz, “Mal de Amores (Mercedes)”, (2015) (image courtesy the artist) Right: Óscar Díaz, “Down Suffolk Ave”, (2015)

is healed. I decided to construct a crossroads using soil. I didn’t realize until I was laying out the soil live in the museum that my body’s memory was activated. It took me back to growing up and my farmer parents tending gardens in order to stay connected to the earth and their indigenous campo identities. Calling cards replace the incantation of mal de amores, which is the name of the creencia. I see my family for decades relying on these cards and going to bodegas. I see them scattered and becoming part of the landscape of streets in New York. Different origins, but basically serving the same kind of function. It was important for me to have performed this at the

Queens Museum, in a place of my childhood, and to be on the phone to Soyapango where we left and where my sister still is. The piece will be “complete” when it travels to San Salvador in video form, which I hope is soon, and as a large projection in a semi/public setting. I am careful of where I would show the video because of this desire and the dangers of curatorial framing. I don’t think this piece is just sad. I think anyone who has watched the twenty minutes in full will see there is laughter, awkward moments where my Spanish is broken, where my sister can’t hear me due to service, warmness, hopefulness. I always want to

Profile for Motherlands Zine

ISSUE ONE pick up a copy at

ISSUE ONE pick up a copy at