Saturday, January 23, 2010

Among Tender Roots

Artist Laura Anderson Barbata used one of my images of the 'Keylemanhjahro School of Arts & Culture' in Trinidad (in costumes designed by Laura) for her new show at the Chicago Center for Books and Paper at Columbia College in Chicago Jan 15 - April 9. If you are in Chicago, a must see !!!

Press release about the show:
Best known for her series of collaborative community-directed
projects, Laura Anderson Barbata’s work finds expression in the
service of cultural exploration and group participation. Born in
Mexico City, currently living in New York and Mexico, she exhibits
internationally in Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Europe, and the United
States, and has shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, The Modern
Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Museum of Modern Art in
Rio de Janeiro.
Ms. Barbata works within a wide variety of cultures to create art
that has great meaning and relevance for her collaborators.
This exhibition documents Barbata’s collaborations with these
communities through books, handmade paper, printworks,
sculpture, video, installation and photographs.
Included in the exhibition are projects with an indigenous people
of Venezuela, the Yanomami, with whom she created two handmade
book, Shapono and lwariwe; the GRAS project in Trinidad,
where local school children in Grande Riviere are taught art through
recycling; and finally, Moko Jumbies, a multidimensional project
involving brightly-costumed stilt walkers in locations ranging from
Trinidad to Brooklyn. The aim of these projects is two-fold: to
reduce local deforestation through the use of recycled paper
and locally sustainable plant fibers, and to assist communities
in developing long-term paper and printmaking projects that aid
in cultural and economic sustainability.
Barbata’s own videos, sculptures, and prints are an integral part
of these social projects, both inspired by them and engaging in
another means of mirroring back these concerns. In the words of
the artist, “I started my work in more of a conventional way in the
studio and felt that it really needed to address those things that
touch my life, and I couldn’t do it from my studio. I would say that
my main motivation is to put my concerns into action.”

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