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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
L Factor



L Factor
UNITED STATES
NEW YORK  •  Exit Art  •  Ongoing
 
For L Factor, Exit Art invited 31 Latino artists who live and work in the United States to create a conceptual portrait of the Latino figure of their choice who has entered into the popular imagination of this country or into cultural history. Movie star Jennifer Lopez, sports star Sammy Sosa, fashion designer Carolina Herrera, hip hop master Big Pun, the artists Frida Kahlo and Ana Mendieta, musician Tito Puente, environmental activist Chico Mendes, educator Eugenio Mario de Hostos, and, even, somehow, Speedy Gonzalez, are among those portrayed in the resulting 30 commissioned works.

In L Factor, Exit Art aims to recast perceptions about Latino artists, many of whom are working with broad, worldwide issues like technology and the environment rather than the political, identity, or “border” issues of previous generations. Selected from an open call that drew responses from more than 300 artists, the participants in L Factor tend to be multi-lingual, and cross-cultural in their ethnic and national backgrounds.

A series of interdisciplinary programs will survey new film and video by emerging Latino artists, trends in Latin music in live performances by emerging bands from both Coasts, contemporary Latino literature, performance art, and cultural thought.

These screenings, panel discussions and performances will inaugurate two new theaters in the downstairs level of the cultural center’s Hell’s Kitchen headquarters. A 120-seat theater will screen film, video and, particularly, digital moving-image works, which have little distribution. A second theater will host live performances.

Some of the artists, like Courtney Smith, combine an improvisational and performance process with the fabrication of a sculptural form. Smith, who lives in the U.S. and Brazil, will create a “bossa nova sculpture” in honor of the legendary vocalist Joaõ Gilberto, who forged the Bossa Nova sound from the traditional rhythms of the Brazilian samba. To do so, she will search Rio de Janeiro for a piece of mid-modern furniture made of jacaranda, an indigenous Brazilian rosewood of a dark, tropical sumptuousness; chop up the item; ship its parts to New York; and, here, fuse the pieces of jacaranda with a plywood-based filler. The resulting blocks, a kind of collage of pale plywood and rosewood as dark as Gilberto’s “black samba,” will form the basis of a stackable, nonsense puzzle-like sculpture.

Performance features even more prominently in other works, such as Eduardo Cintrón’s homage to the champion boxer Tito Trinidad. For his portrait of the Puerto Rican hero, Cintrón will mount a mock political campaign — Trinidad for Governor — that will culminate in a flag-waving caravan of cars snaking through the metropolitan area of San Juan. In another project, the artist and filmmaker Nicolas Guagnini will give a slide lecture at Exit Art, making the case for the connection between Romanian and Latin culture using the poet Tristan Zara and the boxer Oscar de la Hoya as case studies. And Martiza Molina will give poignant visual form to the influence of the late artist Ana Mendieta: the Cuban-born artist will coat her body with dried soil and suspend a heavy, body-like form, made of various materials and dirt, from her arms. Molina will walk through the streets of Miami, bearing this figure, which will leave a trail of soil, the shadow of the “other” beginning where the artist’s own body ends. Molina’s work will be seen at Exit Art in documentation of this performance.

Video and sound works abound in L Factor. The Venezuelan-born Eduardo Gil will honor Roberto Clemente in a video work in which the legendary Puerto Rican-born baseball player appears to levitate, rotate and fall. Brooklyn-based Claudia Joskowicz will present a video installation entitled Fantasy Island, which reconstructs scenes from the various episodes of the sitcom in order to remember Ricardo Montalban—and her own childhood in Bolivia. Felipe Mujica, who also lives and works in Brooklyn, has created a sound portrait of the legendary musician Tito Puente, in which a low- to middle- volume sound track works against the prototype of the big sound.

Four artists have chosen to portray Jennifer Lopez. Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz and Edwin Gonzalez will create an 5’2”-foot-tall cotton candy replica of the singer/actress; Linda Irizarry will cover a trampoline with stretched fabric screen-printed with the image of a woman pulling on a pair of jeans, seen from the rear. Milton Rosa-Ortiz has envisioned an installation in which the viewer walks through a processional-like space to encounter chards of green, broken glass suspended from the ceiling, reminiscent of Lopez’s famous Versace dress— shimmering, beyond reach, and empty.

Featured as well are a photographic triptych of Celia Cruz impersonators by the Cuban-American artist Xavier Tavera; a portrait of Frida Kahlo created completely from rebozos (shawls) by Andrea Arroyo; a giant, 6- by 8-foot paper boat fabricated from the lined pages of children’s composition notebooks as a elegiac homage to Eugenio Maria de Hostos by Iliana Emilia; and a suspended felt tableau drawn from a newspaper photograph showing Jose Santos, the most celebrated jockey in the country today, inching his way to the finish line in one of his recent victories, by the Chilean-born artist Johanna Unzueta.

The project descriptions and drawings selected for commission from the 300 responses to Exit Art’s open call may be seen at during the exhibition period. The artists in L Factor, and the cultural icons whom they portray, are:

Manuel Acevedo
Lives Newark, NJ; born NJ of
Puerto Rican descent
Lolita Lebron

Andrea Arroyo
Lives New York, NY; born Mexico
Frida Kahlo

Eduardo Cintronv
Lives in Fairfield, CT; born in Germany
of Puerto Rican descent
Tito Trinidad

Valeria Cordero and Pilita Garcia Esquivel
Lives New York, NY; born Venezuela
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Chile
Carolina Herrera

Iliana Emilia
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Dominican Republic
Eugenio Maria de Hostos

Eduardo Gil
Lives L.I.C., NY; born Venezuela
Roberto Clemente

Nicolas Guagnini
Lives New York, NY; born Argentina
Oscar de la Hoya ,Tristan Tzara

Linda Irizarry
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Puerto Rico
Jennifer Lopez

Claudia Joskowicz
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Bolivia
Ricardo Montalban

Tamara Kostianovsky
Lives Philadelphia, PA; born Argentina
Frida Kahlo

Cristóbal Lehyt
Lives New York, NY; born Chile
Don Francisco

Hermann Mejía and Lucia Pizzani
Lives New York, NY; born Venezuela
Lives Astoria, NY; born Venezuela
Chico Mendes

Jose Mertz
Lives New York, NY, born in NY of Cuban and Peruvian descent
Tony Touch, Big Pun, Beatnuts, Cypress Hill

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born in California
of Nicaraguan descent
Cantinflas

Maritza Molina
Lives Miami, FL; born Cuba
Ana Mendieta

Marcus Morales
Lives New Mexico; born Mexico
Speedy Gonzalez

Felipe Mujica
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Chile
Tito Puente

Ivan Navarro
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Chile
Cantinflas

Wanda Raimundi-Ortíz and Edwin Gonzalez
Lives Bronx, NY; born in NY of Puerto Rican descent
Lives Bronx, NY; born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican descent
Jennifer Lope

Freddy Rodríguez
Lives Queens, NY; born Dominican Republic
Sammy Sosa

Milton Rosa-Ortiz
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Puerto Rico
Jennifer Lopez

Karin Schneider
Lives New York, NY; born Brazil
Carmen Miranda

Courtney Smith
Lives New York and Brazil, NY; born France
Joao Gilberto

Xavier Tavera
Lives St. Paul, MN; born Mexico
Celia Cruz

Christian Torres Roje
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Chile
Claudio Arrau

Johanna Unzueta
Lives Brooklyn, NY; born Chile
Jose Santos

Alex Villar
Lives Bronx, NY; born Brazil
Pelé

Johnny the Whip
Lives New York, NY; born Puerto Rico
Machito, Cesar Chavez, Arthuro Schomberg



Exit Art Web Site


Contact: Tel: (1) 212 966 77 45

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