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American Cheese

I can only offer you a slice of what I understand to be American. 
I’ve wandered so far passed, 
I’m present only for the past. 
So much so 
Home has become a memory, 
of a memory,
of a memory.     But…
This cheese don't melt.

I grew up with many photo albums filled with our lives from before I was born to this very day and for much of my life I took these photos for granted until one day my parents told me four to five albums were damaged by a flood in their apartment. 

I was devastated because many of those photos were blueprints to my identity and now they were destroyed.

This made me think heavily about the choices I made when I took photos. I also contemplated my use of social media and digital libraries. What made a photograph special to me? To keep? To share? To print?

In the Summer 2017 I decided to reclaim certain photographs from Instagram in order to re-examine my obsession with recording my life. It was a timely process of reclaiming my American identity through distortion in order to demonstrate their commonality and complexity.

I called the series American Cheese. American Cheese has such an interesting history that touches on something quite specifically unique to our North American food culture but also politically charged and heavily subsidized by our government. Common but complicated.

Poem by Elan Cadiz

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