WSJ. asks six luminaries to weigh in on a single topic. This month: Adaptation
“I often speak about how making art is like making something from nothing. Artists don’t get a brief or problem to solve for someone else. So I’m always in a state of adapting an idea into a form without any guide except my own spontaneous judgment. It’s a kind of endless calibrating and recalibrating of creative impulse. While this fact is never seen as autobiographical, I do think it’s deeply rooted in how I was brought up, as part of a community of immigrants in exile. My family left Cuba right after the revolution and arrived to a Jim Crow South that was racially and socially very coded and disorienting. That personal experience feeds into my creative practice. The subtle, highly honed code-switching that immigrants and people of color engage in daily is to me the ultimate form of adaptation.”
—Fernández is an artist. Her permanent installation ‘Island Universe’ is currently on view at the Ford Foundation in New York.