Artist: Cintia Segovia Figueroa
Exhibition: Mexico Already Changed
Media: Installation with a video and robot projection
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Instagram: Not Available
About the Artist
Cintia Segovia Figueroa was born and raised in Mexico City and is now living in Los Angeles. She is a graduate student at CSULB who is working towards her Master’s in Fine Arts degree. She is in the School of Art’s Photography Program and is on her second year. Aside from being a graduate student, Figueroa is also a lecturer at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She lectures for a Photography course where she teaches students basic photography skills. Figueroa’s interest in photography began ever since she was in her mid teens but she didn’t pursue her studies in photography because her parents didn’t approve. Her parents thought she wouldn’t make enough money to make a living with a photography degree that is why she has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences from Tec de Monterrey. Later, Figueroa decided to go back to school and pursue a degree of her interest and she received a Master’s of Arts in Visual Arts from CSUN.
Figueroa’s exhibition, Mexico Already Changed is an installation with a video and robot projection. The exhibition is displayed in a dark room where a short video is playing and a robot is going around the room. Figueroa is part of the video and she is acting as a mass media celebrity, talking about her plans of leaving the country. She is speaking in Spanish and English as she is walking down a road that looks so much like a desert. While the video is playing, the robot named “El Roboto” is going around the room searching for its next victim to ask similar questions that are asked to people who come to the United States with a visa or green card.
Mexico Already Changed is based on Figueroa’s experience as an immigrant that came into the United States from Mexico. This is represented in the short video where she is talking about her plans of leaving the country. Figueroa encountered many obstacles when she came to the United States. She had a very difficult time trying to adapt to a whole new environment because the cultures between Mexico and the United States were very different. Aside from that, the entire process of getting her visa to enter the United States was very harsh for her. She felt like she wasn’t wanted in the United States because the government would ask her questions that she felt were irrelevant. She depicts her experience with the United States government by using “El Roboto,” who is going around asking the same questions she was asked. A question that Figueroa thought was very irrelevant was “Are you a member of the communist party?” She explained how she didn’t know why they asked her that question because the only time she heard about that was during the Cold War and that was a long time ago. Mexico Already Changed really expressed Figueroa’s journey as she migrated to the United States along with her experience with the United States government.
Mexico Already Changed was a great exhibition although Figueroa’s experience as an immigrant wasn’t new to me. I have heard similar stories from my family where they say they felt unwelcomed when they first came to the United States. My parents are both Mexican immigrants who came to the United States in search of a better life and better opportunities. They have told me about their experience and how difficult it was for them to adapt to a new country. Also, I can imagine how Figueroa felt when she was going through the process to get her visa because of my grandma’s experience. My grandma currently has her green card but she has been trying to apply for her United States citizenship but they always deny her. Just like Figueroa, my grandma also feels that the people from the United States government are very unwelcoming and sound very robotic since they just ask questions. Overall, I enjoyed Figueroa’s work because I was able to relate with her because my family is from Mexico. Also, it was very interesting how she used visual arts to portray her life experience as an immigrant.