Jimena Sarno

Jimena SarnoArtist’s Statement

Always stemming from personal experience, my practice encompasses research and production as an exploration of power relations, social control and the construction of consensus through various forms of inclusion and exclusion. I am interested in how certain systems of knowledge, classifications and scripts become normalized and internalized, and in the ways in which the dominant culture shapes—sometimes subtly, sometimes violently—how we perceive, understand and accept the world and our place in it. Borders, migration, citizenship (or lack thereof), assimilation, discipline, labor and security culture are recurring themes.

The work takes shape as installations where I build, rearrange and re-contextualize objects, images, sound and found text into constellations of new relationships. These relationships demarcate a space with its own parameters of order, mobility, presence, absence and belonging. Through the material process of building objects and environments, I retrace the practical and aesthetic considerations of systems of control—from the increasing abstraction of preemptive warfare, mainstream media distortion and every day corporate and government tracking to the idea of the good citizen and the criminalization of dissent.

Website: jimenasarno.com


Select Solo Exhibitions

Homeland , Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA

Homeland , UCI Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, Irvine, CA

Select Group Exhibitions

Music and Art: Sonorous Correspondences 2015: Tectónica, Galician Center for Contemporary Art, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Black Gold , PØST Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Box of Books, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA

Gutted 2011, LACE, Los Angeles, CA

Select Fellowships and Awards

UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts Graduate Student Research Grant, Irvine, CA

UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts Graduate Student Research Grant, Irvine, CA

UCLA VAPAE Completion Grant, Los Angeles, CA

UCLA Powell Bucknell Scholarship, Faculty-nominated scholarship for outstanding artistic achievement, Los Angeles, CA 

Select Community-based Work

Mobile Justice, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA
A community art and performance event in conjunction with Homeland, co-presented by the ACLU of Southern California and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

Analog Dissident, Los Angeles, CA
A monthly, non-hierarchical discussion gathering featuring work and work in progress by two artists. An informal, open studio visit, it is aimed at POC/queer/radical/feminist/politically inclined artists and curators to engage outside of traditional art institutions, school, gallery openings and most importantly, outside of social media.

Resident Alien, Los Angeles, CA
A short-term, proposal-based studio residency program for low-income local and visiting artists to complete a specific project. The resident artist has the opportunity to show their final work in the space at the end of their residency. People of color, refugees, first generation immigrants, undocuqueers, future and recently graduated art students are encouraged to apply.


MFA with a Critical Theory Emphasis, 2014
University of California, Irvine

BFA magna cum laude, 2011
University of California, Los Angeles

The Visual and Performing Arts Education Teaching Sequence, 2011
UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, Los Angeles