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August 2019

YES Contemporary's
BORDERS OF FREEDOM
video exhibition travels to
Locust Projects in Miami
Screening every Saturday Sep 14 - Oct 12 
 
Image: Cracky Rodriguez, La Trinidad. Video. Courtesy The Mario Cader-Frech Collection and the artist.
Locust Projects and YES Contemporary partner on a month long exhibition of "Borders of Freedom" opening on September 14, 7-9pm at Locust Projects. Curated by YES Teammember Patricio Majano,  "Borders of Freedom" explores  themes of freedom and considers what the artists identify as constraints of freedom and ways in which to deal with these issues. The exhibition aims to centralize creative dialogue by artists located in El Salvador and the United States, and Includes videos by Abigail Reyes, Crack Rodríguez, Fredy Solan, Guadalupe Maravilla, Sayre Quevedo.

"Borders of Freedom" includes four video works part of the YES Contemporary art loan program with work from The Mario Cader-Frech Collection launched in February this year, and is available for loan. 
 
Join us! Opening and screening information here. 
The press release is here.
LOAN AN ART WORK

HOT OFF THE PRESSES
YES Contemporary and FAU'S 
BLACK MIRROR

Exhibition Catalogue
 
From February-April this year, Florida Atlantic University Galleries hosted the exhibition "Black Mirror" curated by YES's Claire Breukel, debuting the YES Contemporary Art Loan program with work from the Mario Cader-Frech Collection, and more. The 46 page exhibition catalogue, including the work of all 13 Salvadoran artists, is complete. 

See the work of Abigail Reyes, Albertine Stahl, Beatriz Cortez, Crack Rodriguez, Ernesto Bautista, The Fire Theory, Fredy Solan, Guadalupe Maravilla, Karlos Carcamo, Mayra Barraza, Melissa Guevara, Ronald Moran, Simón Vega, Veronica Vides and Walterio Iraheta. 
 
PREVIEW THE BLACK MIRROR CATALOGUE HERE

YES ARTIST GRANT
WINNERS ANNOUNCED


LA UNICA GALLERY  +  THE FIRE THEORY 
 

LA ÚNICA GALLERY IS AWARDED A 2019 YES ARTIST GRANT TO PRESENT THE EXHIBITION BAGGAGE 

Baggage will be the first exhibition at the gallery to include Salvadoran artists from the United States diaspora. To make this possible, La Unica proposed using suitcases to transport art, 
requiring participating artist to fit there work in to one standard sized suitcase. 

The suitcase is a universal symbol of mobility, transnationality and a tool for the exchange of culture. For example, between the United States and El Salvador there is daily transportation of pupusas and fresh cheese in one direction, and televisions and Nike Airs in the other.

Read more about La Única gallery here.


THE FIRE THEORY IS AWARDED A 2019 YES ARTIST GRANT FOR A RESIDENCY PROJECT WITH OPIFEX IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
The collective The Fire Theory, comprised of artists Mauricio Esquivel, Ernesto Bautista, Melissa Guevara, Crack Rodriguez and Maurice Kabistan has been awarded a YES grant to convene in Bogota, Colombia in September this year to brainstorm an exhibition, talk and collaborations, in situ. The first project initiated by the group outside of El Salvador, The Fire Theory aim to address Latin American problems, and explore an active relationship with the Colombian context. 
Read more about the Fire Theory here. 
The 2019 YES Artist grants was awarded to La Unica gallery and The Fire Theory by an independent jury of experts including artist Naama Tsabar, curator Rosina Cazali and curator Miguel Lopez. YES thanks these volunteers for their time and expertise. 

YES ONLINE STUDIO VISIT : JULY
BEATRIZ CORTEZ SPEAKS WITH AMANDA SANFILIPPO
 
Salvadoran artist Beatriz Cortez (left) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts in 2015, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University in 1999. Cortez’s work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities, and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.
Read more about Beatriz here.

Amanda Sanfilippo (right) is the Curator and Artist Manager for Miami Dade's Art in Public Places program, and the Director and Chief Curator of Fringe projects. She has her MA in Contemporary Art History from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London in conjunction with the University of Manchester and an undergraduate degree in Art History and English from the University of Vermont, Burlington.
Read more about Amanda here.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 
ICA MIAMI + WET HEAT PROJECT RELEASE GUADALUPE MARAVILLA PERFORMANCE DOCUMENTARY
The film of Guadalupe Maravilla's activation of his works as part of his solo exhibition "Portals" at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, has been released. Produced by Miami filmmakers Wet Heat Project for the ICA Miami, the film documents Maravilla's interaction with song gongs sculptures commissioned for the show. Maravilla did a second performance  "Los Purifiers" at the ICA in August. See the film here. 
Image: Still from film. Courtesy the artist, ICA Miami and Wet Heat Project. 
ERNESTO BAUTISTA AT VALENZUELA KLENNER GALERÍA IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
Ernesto Bautista's solo exhibition Un Vacío Infinito Llenándose Con La Memoria (An Infinite Void Filling With Memory) opened at Valenzuela Klenner Galería in Bogota on August 10. Curated by Josseline Pinto, the exhibition is on view until September 14. Pinto and Bautista met as part of the YES Online Studio Visit program. 

Read more about Ernesto's work here. 
MURIEL HASBUN AT EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO, NEW YORK 
Muriel Hasbun's work from the X post facto series, in the collection of El Museo del Barrio, is featured in the museum's 50th anniversary collection show, Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969 - 2019. Curated by Susanna V. Temki, the exhibition is on view until September 29, 2019. 
Read more about Muriel Hasbun's work here.
GUADALUPE MARAVILLA AT THE DRAWING CENTER, NEW YORK
Salvadoran diaspora artist Guadalupe Maravilla participated in the group exhibition Open Sessions 2018–2020: What’s Love Got to Do with It? at the Drawing Center, New York. The exhibition includes works by 32 artists participating in Open Sessions, a two-year program at The Drawing Center, and features drawings and drawing-adjacent works around the theme “the universal discourse of love”. The exhibition is on view until September 15.
See more of Guadalupe Maravilla's work here.
Read more about the exhibition here.

EL SALVADOR NEWS
 
ALEXIA MIRANDA SHARES REFLEXIONES PERFORMANCE
On August 4, artist Alexia Miranda published the video of her performance  Reflexiones Sobre La Fragilidad II conducted at MUA in Honduras in 2018. The work dialogues with the limits of human relationships, signified by her fragile body interacting with another fragile body - the glass structure. Miranda explores risk, both the risk of delivering everything and the risk of losing everything.  View the performance here. 
Image: Courtesy the artist
THE FIRE THEORY AT THE SPANISH CULTURAL CENTER IN SAN SALVADOR
"De Perse Nación", on view at the Spanish Cultural Center in San Salvador, features artwork grappling with the questions “What do we understand by a sovereign state? What does it mean to be part of a nation?”. Curated by Manuel Ospino Escobar, the exhibition includes artists Mauricio Kabistán, Crack Rodríguez, Melissa Guevara, Regina José Galindo, Jorge Marín, Nicolás Vera, Melissa Pareja, Tatiana Puerto and Joan Benassar. Read about the exhibition here.
"ORGASM" GROUP EXHIBITION AT ESPACIO 132
The group exhibition “Orgasm” opened on August 16 at Espacio 132 in San Salvador. The exhibition presents different perspectives of the feminine orgasm. The show includes works by artists Gabriela Novoa, Ricardo Flores, Katie Cantón, Adela Bermudez, Aria, Soma, Rebeca Tovar, NadiA and María Obsidiana. 
Read more about Espacio132 here. 
Artwork by Aria. Courtesy the artist.
"DEVENIR" GROUP EXHIBITION AT LUIS POMA THEATER
The exhibition “Devenir” opened at Luis Poma Theater, and presents artwork addressing themes of time, uncertainty of life, and personal relations. “Devenir” includes works by Patricia Orellana Solares, Miranda Reynado, Dani Ruiz, Andrés Paz, Rodrigo Guardado. The exhibition is on view until September 8, 2019.
Image: Andrés Paz "N(ex)t". Photograph by María Elena Ulin. Courtesy the artist.

PRESS
 
LABERINTO PROJECTS IS FEATURED IN LA PRENSA GRAFICA
Laberinto Projects, founded by Salvadoran Washington D.C. based artist Muriel Hasbun, conducts workshops to introduce United States based creative professionals and teachers to the Salvadoran context. The hugely successful program was featured in El Salvador's daily newspaper La Prensa Gráfica. 
Read the full article here.

EXHIBITION REVIEW OF

STIGMA BY NATALIA DOMÍNGUEZ 
at the 
Museum of Art of El Salvador 


BY EUGENIA P. GUARDADO

 
Stigma, The Game of Prejudices is a project presented in the “antesala” and ramp of the Museum of Art of El Salvador in collaboration with the MARTE Contemporary program. The artist Natalia Domínguez uses the lottery game tradition to present 54 characters inspired by the Salvadoran context. The named characters casually illustrate stigmas by using familiar Salvadoran jargon as a tool to appeal to the public while reflecting on social and cultural reality.

The text “names” present prejudices that already exist in everyday conversations but go unnoticed or are seen as humorous. They point out and question negative ways of communicating and how this affects social treatment of people.  The historical memory is recalled through data that informs the characters’ context.  
Yet Stigma gives the character terms a different meaning and addresses these terms using a game table and songs created by the poet Josué Moz. An example of this is seen in "The Culero." Culero- an exhausted word that is heard in games, on the street corner or between "cheros".1 Here, “The Culero” is inspired by the poet Ricardo Lindo, and accompanied by a new song: “He who was not afraid to speak of his sexuality in poems that you could never write in your fucking life.” The culero goes from being a passive insult to being associated with courage through a realized character.

The illustrations that are the starting point of Natalia's process are colorful and humorous, addressing the historical and / or current associations to the characters. Framed and on a golden wall, you begin to understand the different visions of the body in Salvadoran society through each character text. 
The artist does this in two ways: some texts are activated or changed by accompanying songs or cards (I return to this a little later), in others are presented as is, but the accompanying illustration subverts it, attributing the characters with empowered positions. 
 
An example of this can be seen in "El Gordo" and "La Libertina" both with their arms overhead, uninhibited ( I guess that happens when you have Thor's hammer, in the case of "El Gordo", or a chain of sausages in the case of "La Libertina"). “La Libertina” has a wound from the vagina to the navel, which could refer to the current Salvadoran sexual and reproductive health policies that are fraught. 


Other texts show stigma’s suffering. The body of "The Culero”, shown with snakes, is activated by singing and words that manifest its power.
In "Los Bichos", a term used to refer to children, and depending on the context, also to gang members, the text criticizes a society that stigmatizes and marginalizes the body—guilty for being young and living in the wrong area, even when without gang tattoos. Therefore presenting the body of los bichos in a contradictory way with marks and tattoos speaks to the incongruity of the social imaginary, specifically of the assumption that young people, tattooed or not, who live in high risk areas are bad, ignoring the complexities of reality.
 
      Much of the content is politically urgent addressing issues of social injustice. Stigma, as a game and social activity, creates a space where stigmas are recognized, formed and deformed creating a valuable educational alternative and a starting point for reflection. 

1chero, ra.: m. y f. El Salv. y Hond. Friend, companion, comrade. Real Academia Española, Edición del Tricentenario.

Images: Natalia Domínguez, drawings from "Estigma" exhibition. In order from top to bottom:  "El Culero", "El gordo", "La Libertina", "Los Bichos". 2019. Courtesy of the artist. Photos by the author. 

READ YES's 2018 IMPACT REPORT
YES is an initiative of the Robert S. Wennett and Mario Cader-Frech Foundation 
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