|Cuándo:||20 abr de 2019 - 16 jun de 2019|
|Inauguración:||30 abr de 2019 / 18:00|
|Dónde:||James Cohan Gallery / 533 West 26th Street / Nueva York, New York, Estados Unidos|
|Organizada por:||James Cohan Gallery|
|Artistas participantes:||Firelei Báez|
Dominican-born, New York-based artist Firelei Báez reconfigures visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. Incorporating subject matter from a breadth of diasporic narratives, the artist’s intricate works on paper and canvas, large-scale sculptures, and installations explore the ways in which personal and collective identities are shaped by inherited histories. Báez incorporates the visual languages of regionally-specific mythology and ritual alongside those of science fiction and fantasy, to envision identities as unfixed, and inherited stories as perpetually-evolving. By rendering spectacular bodies that exist on opposite sides of intersecting boundaries, Báez carries portraiture into an in-between space where subjectivity is rooted in historical narratives as much as it can likewise become untethered by them. Acknowledging the reciprocal nature of migration as a non-linear course of movement, Firelei Báez creates sites of connectivity, where overlapping histories and modes of understanding coexist. For Je bâtis a roches mon langage, the artist has created an immersive installation in the main gallery that spreads into the reception area. The space is cocooned in hand-perforated blue tarp—often used for temporary shelter, and thus a symbol of both disaster and refuge—casting light onto material patterned with black diasporic symbols of nurturing and resistance. Overhead is a geo-specific map of the stars as they appeared in the night sky at the onset of the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804). A successful uprising led by self-liberated slaves against the French colonial government in Saint-Domingue, the Haitian Revolution was an early precursor to abolition movements internationally and had an indelible—if often unacknowledged—impact on the ideological and geopolitical landscape of the 19th century world. The installation’s oceanic quality suggests the broader history of black diaspora and the Middle Passage, in relationship to Glissant’s theory of the ocean as a connector and repository of physical memory.
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