"Uncatered" Joiri Minaya Exhibition

Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Uncatered”, a solo exhibition of works by Joiri Minaya, currently an Artist in Residence, on view February 5 through March 1, 2016.

Minaya’s current work for “Uncatered” focuses on the construction of the female subject in relation to nature and landscape in a “tropical” context, shaped by a foreign “gaze” that demands leisure and pleasure. Like nature, femininity has been imagined and represented throughout history as idealized, tamed, conquered / colonized and exoticized. Minaya constantly revises existing cultural products that engage in this form of representation and incorporating them, critically, in her work. These new works include “Siboney" which explores stereotypical constructions of the Caribbean and the Caribbean women based on elaborate fantasies drafted from the position of the foreign other. The performance aims to reflect on the projection of these constructions and how they are later internalized and laboriously constructed by the subject in which they originate. In addition, “DOMINICAN WOMEN - GOOGLE SEARCH POSTCARDS” Uses the postcard format as a platform for images that were culled from a Google search of images for the term  "dominican women". The series consists of re-compositions of the bodies of the women represented in these images or to draw attention to their context. The series is subdivided in different groups that follow different logics to re-compose these bodies. Additional works such as “Container” are the first of a series of performative photographs that feature a woman in natural environments wearing bodysuits made out of fabric with designs that represent nature. “Container” oscillates between ideas of agency and impairment within the construction of the “tropical” as a fantasy of leisure, pleasure and exoticness, and the presence of the female body within this fantasy.The use and consistent presence of the body or figure plus the interest in creating distinct power positions with it seem often contradictory, but are operating simultaneously.

Throughout all her work, Minaya’s direct focus on otherness, self-consciousness and displacement is inspired not only by women in her family, but issues of labor, dislocation, psychology, myth, art history, magic realism and symbols. These works thoroughly question and examine historical hierarchies that inform and condition current identities; constructions and manifest through the body and the resulting they are receipt, internalization and then their subsequent regurgitation. Minaya accomplishes this through her varied in depth exploration throughout different media: painting or sculpture might be a departing point for video or performance, resulting in a merge or develop independently into several works making for a conceptually and visually rich body of works.

Joiri Minaya (1990) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work deals with identity, otherness, self-consciousness and displacement.  Her work investigates the female body and experience within constructions of identity, social space and hierarchies. Born in New York, U.S, she grew up in the Dominican Republic. Minaya graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales  (ENAV) in Santo Domingo, D. R. in 2009, the Altos de Chavón School of Design in La Romana, D.R. in 2011 and Parsons the New School for Design in 2013. Minaya lives and works in the US and Dominican Republic.

Exhibition: February 5 through March 1, 2016; Opening reception: February 5, 7-9pm, Artist talk 8pm. For more information please contact studio@guttenbergarts.org or 201-868-8585. Guttenberg Art Gallery is free and open to the public by appointment, www.guttenbergarts.org.