Throughout the Summer Institute, we'll be bringing you Bite Sizes which is sort of an episodic mini studio visit where we get to know bits about what the participants are up to and a bit about themselves. In this episode, we speak with Winnipeg based artist Kristina Banera.
Banera seems to be preoccupied with the thought of preservation. Keeping in place fleeting histories, memories, and remnants that cease to exist with time. When asked what she thinks the world needs more of, she answered saying: "I think I have a fear of the past disappearing. It feels like its always fleeting. I fear that all that information will disappear and the next generation won't have access to it." She brings this up in talking to her about her mother and Lockport, MB a town she grew up in which in many ways remains a mystery to her. A lot of what she knows about the place is through stories others have described to her and in search of past histories. She recently discovered a museum that once existed there but has since deteriorated. It's just another example of how pieces of her home are slowly disappearing. "The town is slowing making its way into a ghost town and gathering information about that place is becoming more difficult" she states.
Coming into the institute, Banera mentions being hesitant about writing, having little writing background. "I was worried my writing would have to be very academic but being part of the workshops, I've learned that it's actually okay for it to be whatever it is" she affirms. She has come to acknowledge writing as a way to express from her own personal point of view, her relationship with Lockport as well as her mother. She has previously remained uncertain about exploring her relationship with her mother and what space to approach from. "I want to be direct about how I feel but my main concern is expressing how I feel all the while being protective of my mother and her life. The goal is to work through my desires for resolution of a personal relationship and to avoid exploitation. The work is more about me than it is about her." Banera describes. She's interested in investigating and understanding her unresolved relationship with her mother a relationship she's aware might never be resolved. "Something I have been thinking about is how literal and at what distance do I put myself forward" Banera explains. A lot of the information she has is a combination of what others have told her and partly through her own investigating for support information. She adds: "there's so much mystery about the place and about her that I think bridging what is real and what is fiction is the way to do it. It's the only way I think I can really do it."