Carmen Argote

About The Artwork

Workbook/Notebook, 2016-2017, Photographs

Workbook/Notebook are a series of photographs of reassembled handwritten notes made by the artist’s grandmother while she was learning English as a Second Language in Los Angeles. Taking ESL classes provided her with a community of fellow immigrants who were also grappling with the difficulties of learning another language at an older age. The artist deeply connected with her grandmother’s handwritten notes, which often appeared as misspelled responses within the rigid structure of her ESL workbooks. In the process of photographing the books, isolating her grandmother’s marks and answers from their original prompts, new writings were revealed. Freed from their original structure, a poetry began to emerge.