Jennifer Garza-Cuen Photography

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After fifteen years abroad I returned to the States.  London to Reno and in a matter of hours I had become a sort of cultural refugee.  Until that point my interest in photography had always been tied to a feeling of exploration; it was a way of discovering and engaging the world around me as I traveled and sought a place within it.  Suddenly, I needed to feel a part of my own history.

To re-discover my culture and attempt to come to terms with it, in all its complexity, was therefore part of the motivation behind the work ‘Cocktails’. I worked at the Atlantis Hotel Casino in Reno for nearly a year. I began to document with a small digital camera as I worked. After awhile I asked other waitresses if I could photograph them and ask them about their experiences. I became fascinated with the disconnect between a glorified, projected reality of the casino environment and its more mediocre and detrimental counterpart. Admittedly, the project is as much an experiential work of self-discovery as it is a representational work of a cultural oddity.



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