As far as I remember, I have always questioned my own identity, and in fact, the mere notion of identity. I was born and grew up in Bogota, Colombia, a South-America high-altitude city, spreading north to south, ranging from the poorest to the wealthiest neighborhoods, where the notion of classes is very vivid.
Later, I moved to Boston, where I studied art and became an artist and photographer, before moving to Europe where I settled in France . My travels across these continents, across geographic borders, have been contributing to my reflections on questions of identity, from which I have been continually drawing aesthetic work.
The work and photographies presented here form an on-going testimony of my artistic investigations on this topic, starting from concrete physical frontiers interpreted in the context of mondialisation and worldwide immigration to a more intellectual level of abstraction where aesthetic considerations linked to colors, shapes, and shadows prevail. This has provided me with rich materials for plastic experiments, identity being alternatively perceived as a negative concept leading to intolerance, competition, and violence to a positive one, promoting differences as well as cooperation, originality as well as alterity which are of utmost importance to avoid falling into a monotonous, totalitarian world. Hope some of these assumed subjective angles of view will resonate for you when going through this serie.
About Monika Ruiz-Bernal
Born in Colombia in 1964, Monika Ruiz-Bernal grew up in Bogotá, which she left at the age of nineteen for the United States. She graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Boston, USA, and Aix-en-Provence, France. Her artistic practice is eclectic although centered on photography. Based in Marseille since 2003, she is represented by the UPA gallery and her work is selected to be exhibited at the festival HeadOn, FotografiaEuropea, circuit OFF, les Regards Croisés et les Parcours, Aix-en-Provence, Les Rencontres Photographiques de Cassis, Fotonoviembre International Photography Biennial, Tenerife. From 2017 to 2022 his work is exhibited at the Florida Museum of Photography, ARTORAMA, the Rencontres photographiques de Casis 3rd edition, Der Greif, Guest Room, Downtow Chiado Contemporary Exhibition, Lisbon, Artemesia, Barcelona, etc. [Official Website]