Guillermina Zabala’s silent video, I, Me, Light, was first shown at Luminaria, San Antonio’s annual one-night arts festival. The work consists of a series of video portraits that capture the multifaceted culture of the city and focus on themes of language and identity.
The title of Zabala’s video is based on a song by the Beatles, written and sung by George Harrison. Zabala describes “I, Me, Mine,” the last track recorded by the band before their split, as a “critique of the material body as one’s false self and of material possessions as temporary.” Finding inspiration in Harrison’s 1980 autobiography, in which he argued that the “truth within us has to be realized,” Zabala asked her subjects to answer the profound question: “Who am I?” Artists, curators—including the McNay’s own René Paul Barilleaux, Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945—and other individuals in the art community responded by using their index fingers to write in the air words that best represent themselves. After filming each person, Zabala highlighted the words with light, which created a “light-writing” effect.
Born in La Plata, Argentina, San Antonio-based media artist, filmmaker, and photographer Zabala graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema from Columbia College Hollywood, Tarzana, California. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in San Antonio, including those at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum; Centro Cultural Aztlan; Gallery 100, Palo Alto College; San Antonio Museum of Art; and the University of Texas at San Antonio Downtown Art Gallery. She has also exhibited extensively in Europe, Mexico, and South America. Zabala is currently media arts director at SAY Sí.
Guillermina Zabala, I, Me, Light (video still), 2011. Three-channel video installation, 17 min. 37 sec. Courtesy of the artist.