domingo, 29 de mayo de 2016

First New York museum solo exhibition of Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz at New Museum

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops, 2015. 
Production still. Courtesy the artist and Galería Agustina Ferreyra


PR ART NEWS -“Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign” marks the first New York museum solo exhibition of Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (b. 1972, San Juan, Puerto Rico). In her recent film and video work, Santiago Muñoz has documented the lives of individuals—political dissidents, teachers, and farmers—who are deeply invested in political transformation. The subjects of her films and videos reveal their close physical connections to their environments, sites marked by legacies of colonial trade and military occupation in the artist’s homeland of Puerto Rico, by recounting stories and engaging natural materials as well as inherited or handmade objects. Her exhibition at the New Museum is presented in the Fifth Floor gallery as part of the Education and Public Engagement Department’s R&D Season: LEGACY and explores the ways in which our connections to the past are actively produced, maintained, and refuted. “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign” is on view to June 12, 2016.

For her exhibition and residency at the New Museum, Santiago Muñoz premieres a new three-channel video That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops (2016) and a new silent 16mm film Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces (2016). The three parts of Santiago Muñoz’s video That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops are titled as a sequence: One/Song, Two/Strategy, and Three/Signs. The footage emerged from years of contact between Santiago Muñoz and a group of women, and each video channel corresponds loosely to a different theme in Monique Wittig’s 1969 novel Les Guérillères, which describes a world where the patriarchy has fallen after a bloody war between the sexes. Like Les Guérillères, the video closely follows the sensorial and material worlds of the women and imagines a post-patriarchal future. Unlike the characters in Wittig’s novel, the women portrayed in Santiago Muñoz’s video are real, and the story is rooted in the specific place and time that they inhabit—including Caribbean cities, bankrupted states, and coastal towns. The video documents the injured farm animals that the women care for, a concert on a beach at night, a  frenzied club, and a protest campsite in front of government buildings.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops, 2015. Production still. Courtesy the artist and Galería Agustina Ferreyra

Santiago Muñoz’s exhibition at the New Museum also features a set of commissioned masks, which will be activated in a series of new films and videos made during the artist’s residency this spring. The masks will be featured in a performance by one of the women in That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops, Macha Colón (the stage name of Gisela Rosario Ramos, a queer performer in the underground music scene in Puerto Rico), in the New Museum Theater on June 2, 2016.

 Santiago Muñoz’s 16mm film Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces portrays subjects— people, places, and things—she has come to know through previous projects. The film was shot on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, which was the site of a bombing range used by the US Navy for sixty years and is still filled with unexploded bombs. The film weaves together images of a man who cares for horses that roam the old target range where the bombs lie, a black magnetite beach that is slowly eroding, an artist who has helped to resurrect a sacred tree that was once on the naval base and who has herself been resurrected from illness more than once, and a man who hopes his ritual movements will return the island of Vieques to a cosmic balance. Together, their stories tell interlacing accounts of land, toxic bombings, political work, celebration, and death.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops, 2015. Production still. Courtesy the artist and Galería Agustina Ferreyra

Santiago Muñoz captures the aspirations and imagined futures of those who are deeply invested in alternative models of being, using the stories of farmers, activists, and artists working in Puerto Rico as allegories for larger political possibilities in the region. The film, three-channel video, and masks in “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign” serve as testaments to the individuals who forge their own terms for how to live, remember, and advance their own evolving histories.


This exhibition is co-curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement; Lauren Cornell, Curator and Associate Director, Technology Initiatives; and Sara O’Keeffe, Assistant Curator.

Exhibition: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign runs through June 12, 2016 at New Museum, 235 Bowery, NY Hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 11am - 6pm - on Thursday until 9pm - closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

Fotografías extraídas de la web de New Museum a quienes agradecemos su colaboración. Las imágenes se publican exclusivamente para la promoción de la exposición, la galería y los artistas y está prohibida su reproducción en cualquier medio.

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