© 2019 by Saskia Jorda.
Site design by Mancusi Design, LLC

UNRAVELING TRADITION  2013

Installation view at Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, California.  1/4 mile-long cotton fabric strip, thread, wood and motor.

This project sets out to explore the coming-of-age tradition of the Quinceañera, popular in Latin American cultures as a celebration of an adolescent girl's fifteenth birthday. It reflects on what it means for a girl to experience this rite of passage, and examines the impact on the families of these girls and on their direct communities.

Developed during a two-month residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California during the spring of 2013, the social practice focus of the residency allowed for community engagement and dialog with a variety of residents and businesses throughout Santa Ana, a community where the Quinceañera is relevant.

The resulting kinetic installation included a hand-gathered ruffle made from a strip of fabric approximately the length of Santa Ana's Fourth Street's shop district (nearly 1/4 mile long) that wrapped around a sculptural wooden frame/hoop skirt and unraveled slowly over the course of the two-month summer exhibition. Alongside the installation, the exhibition also included smaller works that nod to other symbolic aspects of the Quinceañera.

Grand Central Art Center's staff played a key role in the fabrication process of the final piece.

Photographs by Matthew William Photography and Saskia Jorda