The young Claudia would often travel from Paraguay to New York to visit her mother, traveling between both places for studies and work. During these trips, she became aware of the status of Latin Americans living in a place charged with socio-economic stereotypes such as the United States. As a Paraguayan woman, how to break through the stereotypes imposed on women.
C: I often take my family history as the source of my creations. Injustice, violence and migration in the family reflect the history of the world at large; All women in my family have experienced migration. Their histories, their bodies, all these memories are to me unavoidable subject matters. I try to peel the onion to its core a layer at a time and take a visual approach to say things.
I think that discussing women’s issues with clothes and garments makes the idea more easily understood. Essentially, our bodies are covered in layers of ideologies.
Tulle is present in most rites of passage of women in Western societies: first communion, “quinceañeras”, weddings and also mourning. For me, its transparency is a metaphor of clothing itself. It covers the body but reveals other things. Also, I normally talk about things being overlooked. With tulle, the gaze transcends the garment.
C: 作品Trastornos del Sueño（睡眠紊亂），是為非洲的阿爾及爾FIAC製作和展出，我們兩地的歷史很相似，殖民、獨立、獨裁、腐敗⋯⋯
C: Trastornos del Sueño (Sleep Disorder) is a piece I made and showed for the Algiers FIAC in Africa. Our histories are so similar. Colonization, independence, dictatorships, corruption, and more.
These are nightgowns that go from white to red through shades of pink. Like escalating from a dream to a nightmare, like when you have a promise of a new horizon and then you find yourself trapped in the human trafficking networks. It is about that.
席地捲成的環狀，意念源自巴拉圭女性自製的布托環 —— 作為頭上提籃的支撐，象徵著當地婦女由殖民時代至今天，作為家庭中經濟支柱的付出；無人穿著的長裙，用上巴拉圭原產的 ao po’i 棉布製造，隱約聽見被壓抑在父權制度下的無聲抗議，以圍圈的儀式來相互擁抱，爭取平等的尊嚴。
A ring shape woven on the ground, the idea came from the head-rings Paraguay women make – which serve as the supporting base for carrying baskets on the head. They symbolise the contributions of local women as breadwinners of their families from colonial times up till today; The long dresses, devoid of their wearers and made with ao po’i cotton produced in Paraguay, vaguely evoke silent protests repressed by the patriarchal system, as they engage in a ceremony of circles to hold each other close and seek equal dignity.
Uniforme (Uniform 制服), 2008 關於因不同的原因遷徙到不同地域的身體 Regarding bodies that have migrated to different regions for different reasons
2015年在阿根廷的Museum of Inmigration（移民博物館）的裝置展覽，黑色薄紗背後躲著隱藏自己身份的隱形人，這些制服到底是來自集中營，還是那個監獄的囚犯？
In an installation exhibition in Argentina’s Museum of Immigration in 2015, black tulle belies invisible people of obscure identities. Are these uniforms from the concentration camps or from inmates of that prison?
Migration is nothing novel in Paraguay. Many women have opted to migrate for a better life for themselves and their families. Apart from your native soil, who will you become? Are you still you? Migration is, however, not only the movement of bodies, full of hopes and dreams, it is also filled with fragility and sufferings.
The work suggests all kinds of unimaginable obstacles during migrations, such as hindrances due to possessions, documents, discrimination or ulterior motives. At times, migration could become an astonishing violence. Claudia used black threads to embroider ordinary objects onto clean white tulle. Through lighting, simple black embroideries and grey silhouettes criss-cross into contradictions and the kind of conclusions that are never certain.
By folding small, it returns vigorously. There is a hand thinking through its fingertips, through the texture of things.
La Isla, 2017 Upholstered armchair with used shirts and mirror
C: I’ve upholstered furniture with used clothes since the year 2000. I am a supporter of upcycling as well and try to wear second hand or locally made clothes mainly.
There is a fiction I like to tell myself as part of my work with pre-owned clothes. Paraguay was a big producer of cotton before the 90’s. I like to imagine that the used American or European clothes are the cotton plants returning. Coming back home.
T: Are all your garment works made by Paraguay women?
C: I don’t have a team, but normally start the pieces with my mother. She has a small workshop in her house, she’s worked in clothing and upholstery for all of her life. I work with some local fashion houses as creative director. I’ve been very, very lucky and had the support from local fashion brands. So I now produce the bigger scale installations there. Normally I have long talks with the people that sew the pieces. Telling them about the reasons behind each piece.
T: What are your thoughts on the future of fashion?
C: I think the change in production or consumption processes and modes are not an option. The exploitative ways our desires are provoking cannot be overseen anymore. Slavery and contamination cannot be the side effect of a lifestyle.