Leah Burke

My art practice centers around the fragility and instability of memory and landscape. This work suggests how the built environment shapes collective perceptions and influences shared global culture. To further understand the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, I began to mine my family history beginning with my grandmother’s move from Puerto Rico to Washington DC in the early 1940s. Her migration coincided with a major shift in the economy which led to rapid industrialization and many changes in the architectural and natural environment. This work collapses timelines and weaves together both disparate and connected histories. Personal narratives are the backdrop for broader themes such as global tourism, the notion of a ‘postcolonial’ space, architectural preservation, and Puerto Rico’s continued fraught relationship with the United States government.