Alexandra Robinson’s solo exhibition, Delimitations, or words to live by uses both drawings and multimedia works to investigate ideas of identity and signifiers that question place and how one exists in that place. Robinson co-opts symbols in order to play with meaning and she is especially interested in an American ideology that was never meant for everyone even if multiplicity is the American experience.
Robinson is deeply connected to the complex history of what it is to be Mexican-American (and one who didn’t grow up speaking Spanish) and of Jewish heritage brought up in a most American institution, the United States Army. These edges challenge and reinforce Robinson’s sense of identity and are directly reflective of how generations of her family internalized what it means to be American.
Through the use of Morse code, flag semaphore and the flag form Robinson appropriates symbols of American exceptionalism, which are informed by her upbringing and familiarity with military family life, and American ideals. The work conjures ideas of nation, place, power, and becomes representative of identity. By presenting languages that are possible to translate she is setting up boundaries, edges – a place of borders. Robinson takes inspiration from Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, in which the author explores borders in language, location and culture. It is in the friction of two worlds that una herida abierta (the open wound), where one world grates against the first and bleeds, that a third is created. Through the boundaries of language and experience Robinson has had to learn to move between worlds to construct a solid foundation.
About the Artist
Alexandra Robinson is a visual artist who uses language and symbols in her creative practice. She grew up in the military and has lived all over the world; because of the semi-transient nature of moving every two years she has a longing for place and identity and explores these themes in her work. Robinson was raised with her immediate family; an intersection of her Mexican and Jewish heritage which has cultivated a complexity in how she sees and experiences the world. She earned a BA at the University of Saint Mary in Sociology and an MFA in 2D studies from the University of Cincinnati. She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions; some recent selections Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City; Salina Art Center, Salina; Lawndale Arts Center, Houston; Mass Gallery, Austin; Lightwell Gallery at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids and The Contemporary Austin. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Art at St. Edward’s University in Austin where she lives with her husband and two daughters.