Xitlalli’s primary goal is to restore the presence of trans women, indigenous/mestiza women, and sex workers within the art historical canon by referencing feminist histories and pre-Hispanic folklore native to Mexico through aesthetic theory and narratives. By creating interactions between video projection with light, neon sculpture, and portraiture, the installation echos the solitary nature of the folkloric Isla de las Virgenes, presenting solely Xitlalli’s deified transgender, mestiza body and her “wildest” fantasies. The work aims to bring awareness to the isolating nature of trans women of color’s existence in the current socio-political environment. It does so by contrasting it with the utopic vision of a pre-Hispanic, matriarchal island where sex, love, lust, and riches are possible without the forces of colonial trauma and the patriarchy. Utilizing elements of magical realism, La Isla de las Virgenes creates a world of endless possibilities for Xitlalli and other trans women of color. We can explore all of our desires in an environment that is welcoming, dream-like, and soothing. This immersive space creates a portal from the outside world into a moment of refuge for those who wish to escape queerphobia, racism, and a colonized existence.
About the Artist
Xitlalli Sixta Tarin is an interdisciplinary and multimedia artist focusing in photography, film, and new media. She received her BFA in studio arts with an emphasis on Film/Video/New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019. Her work explores the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity with a commitment to decolonizing narratives around trans women, sex workers, and mestizo people. Tarin has screened and exhibited her work in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally, including the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, SOMArts in San Francisco, ArtSpace México in Mexico City, and the Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest in London.
©Xitlalli Sixta Tarin