Joiri Minaya

Joiri Minaya

The Cloakings, 2017/19, postcard

Postcard at 10 venues

Tropical prints and patterned fabrics have long been part of Joiri Minaya’s critical toolbox, having incorporated these materials in her work via photographs, performances, and installations. For some of those pieces, she would cover herself or others with a full bodysuit that simultaneously would make the wearer extremely noticeable and conceal them in a critique of exotification and otherness in relation to nature.

The Cloakings is a series of digital and real coverings for public monuments that represent colonial legacies. The specific interventions realized so far include a digital rendering of a Christopher Columbus statue located in Nassau, Bahamas; and the actual wrapping of another Columbus monument as well a statue of Juan Ponce de León in Miami, Florida. In the case of the latter two, these tropical print coverings were specifically designed as metaphors of resistance, incorporating plants used in Native American, Black and Afro-Caribbean rituals that reference poison healing, purging, cleansing, casting evil spirits away or protection, as well as the very plant that poisoned Ponce de León.

Through this process, Minaya resignifies her own work in order to create a statement on public space and national identity in relation, but not limited to, touristic and commemorative sites. The massive worldwide movement in defense of Black lives that took center stage during the Summer of 2020 demands a more just, decolonized future, and has consistently critiqued the reasons for keeping such monuments. By intervening on the statues, Minaya makes them hyper-visible and calls into question their place in our cities, and their ideological repercussions in our societies and our minds.

-Curator|Marina Reyes Franco

Joiri Minaya

(b. 1990) A Dominican-United Statesian multi-disciplinary artist whose work investigates the female body within constructions of identity, multicultural social spaces and hierarchies. Born in New York, U.S, she grew up in the Dominican Republic. She graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic (2009), the Altos de Chavón School of Design (2011) and Parsons the New School for Design (2013). Her work is a reassertion of Self, an exercise of unlearning, decolonizing and exorcising imposed histories, cultures and ideas. It’s about reconciling the experience of having grown up in the Dominican Republic with living and navigating the U.S./global North; using gaps, disconnections and misinterpretations as fertile ground for creativity. She describes, “I’ve learned there is a Gaze thrust upon me which others me. I turn it upon itself,mainly by seeming to fulfill its expectations, but instead sabotaging them, thus regaining power and agency.”

Curator : Marina Reyes Franco

co-founded “La Ene”, an itinerant museum and collection. Some recent projects include De Loiza a la Loiza, a “MAC en el Barrio” public art commission by Daniel Lind Ramos; Resisting Paradise, at Publica, San Juan and Fonderie Darling, Montreal; Watch your step / Mind your head, ifa-Galerie Berlin; The 2nd Grand Tropical Biennial in Loiza, Puerto Rico; Caliban, MAC in San Juan; C32: Sucursal, MALBA in Buenos Aires, and numerous exhibitions at La Ene. As curator and researcher, she has focused on the work of Esteban Valdes, artistic and literary manifestations on the frontier of political action, and the impact of tourism in cultural production in the Caribbean. She received the 2017 CPPC Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean and was nominated for ICl’s 2014 Independent Vision Curatorial Award.

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