LIZ COHEN STATEMENT ON GAZ
STATEMENT ON GAZ
I am a child of the Cold War born in the United States to Colombian parents. Growing up I remember the 1980s as a time where there was an acute obsession with the Soviets/Russians. They were dangerous. They were our enemies. We were in competition to dominate the world. Times change, and then they don’t. My family mythology includes a story of my mother learning to drive on a GAZ69 and crashing into a tree. The desire to understand the history that led to my mother driving a Soviet car in Colombia in the 1960s inspired GAZ COFFEE.
I grew up spending many of my summers in Colombia. Those trips were punctuated by a trip to China and a trip to the USSR. My experiences in the Global South and the socialist superpowers influenced the formation of my identity as a particular first-generation US American. Our summer travels to see family in Colombia exposed me to the economic dynamics of the Global South. I noticed the way the disparity of wealth and the dynamics of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality played out differently in Colombia. As I came to learn more about the founding histories of our countries, I understood that our colonial histories were driven by different motivations and continued to play out in distinct ways.
I would like to thank Jared Peterson, my studio assistant and Judith Bantham of Middlecott Design for their contribution to the production of the works in the exhibition. In addition, I would like to express my appreciation to Jova Lynne, M. Pofahl, Isabelle Lauerman, Ben Briggance, Marie Patton, Casey Brooks, Leto Rankine, and the rest of the MOCAD staff for their contributions and support. Special thank you to Liberty Moore for operating the GAZ espresso machine.