Museum Unveils Three-Artist Exhibition Exploring Otherness and Diversity in Construction of Cultural Identity
The Final Exhibition in a Three-Part Exhibition Series on Identity Politics, Love Thy Neighbor Includes New Works by Firelei Báez, Ignacio González-Lang, and Irvin Morazan
Bronx, New York—February 21, 2017— Opening on March 5, the Bronx Museum of the Arts will present Love Thy Neighbor, an exhibition of new works by U.S.-based Latin American artists Firelei Báez, Ignacio González-Lang, and Irvin Morazan exploring the cultural processes of othering through the human form. Love Thy Neighbor, the third and final exhibition in The Neighbors series, curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, examines the concept of otherness to underscore the role of diversity in constructing society and identity. The artworks included in Love Thy Neighbor were created for the exhibition.
Firelei Báez’s works for Love Thy Neighbor continue her longstanding investigation into the ways in which Caribbean narratives shape bodies, myths, and histories. Báez deconstructs the French philosophical theories of identity by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari based on an old fable of pollination between a wasp and an orchid as inspiration for her new paintings on paper. Defining one’s identity as the process of encountering alterity, Báez fills each of her human silhouettes with flora and fauna imagery, portraying her own interpretation of the fable.
Ignacio González-Lang will present a series of new works created for Love Thy Neighbor to explore the perception of a perceived criminal other. Titled Antisocial, the works comprise composite images printed on ceramic plates in an installation that wraps around the entire gallery space. These images, which merge hundreds of police drawings of criminal suspects from local newspapers with images from Instagram, combine the features of his digital subjects with that of the police portraits to examine perception and bias.
Irvin Morazan’s works across media for Love Thy Neighbor recall his solo childhood immigration to the United States from his native El Salvador. A series of works on paper reproduces maps sourced from the 16th-century manuscript Historia Tolteca Chichimeca, diagramming Spain’s territories in the Americas. On these prints, Morazan superimposes traces of imaginary immigration routes, sketches made by undocumented U.S. immigrants, and illustrations inspired by the Salvadoran game Tripa Chuca, a pastime that involves creating a map between two people using lines and interconnected numbers.
At the Museum’s open house on March 5, Morazan will perform “Volver, Volver,” including a headdress featured in one the sculptures for the exhibition, which is inspired by a coyote or border-crossing agent. The performance takes place within the Love Thy Neighbor exhibition at 3:00 pm, in the Museum’s North Gallery. Love Thy Neighbor is the final in the exhibition series The Neighbors, which investigates the visual languages and aesthetic concerns of identity politics, as well as addressing the ways in which divisions in social classes manifest. Caza opened The Neighbors series on July 13 to September 25, 2016 with works by Rochelle Gomez, Margaret Lee, and Alejandra Seeber that examine the place of art and the ghostly presence of modernism in domestic spaces. The series’ second iteration, from October 12, 2016 to February 12, 2017, featured two concurrent solo shows in dialogue with one another—Sanctuary by Andrea Bowers and Home by Andrea Aragón.
About Firelei Báez
(b. 1980, Dominican Republic; lives in New York)
Báez solo-exhibitions include Patterns of Resistance at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City and Bloodlines at Pérez Art Museum Miami, both held in 2015; the latter will be presented at The Warhol Museum in Pittsburg in 2017. Her work was part of Prospect 3 U.S. Biennial: Notes for Now (2014) in New Orleans, and has been included in numerous group exhibitions at institutions in New York City, including The (S) Files (2011) at El Museo del Barrio, Cultural Transference (2012) at EFA, Drawn to Nature (2013) at Wave Hill, and Small (2014) at The Drawing Center. She has been the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting, among other grants, and is shortlisted for the 2017 Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize. Báez received a BFA from The Cooper Union’s School of Art and an MFA from Hunter College, both in New York. In 2012, she participated in the Bronx Museum’s AIM program; in 2007, she was given a BRIO award by the Bronx Council on the Arts.
About Ignacio González-Lang
(b. 1975, Puerto Rico; lives in New York)
González-Lang has presented solo-projects at Art in General in New York and the Espai 13 of Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in New York City, including Greater New York (2016) at MoMA/PS1, Source Material (2014) at Lehman College Art Gallery, The (S) Files (2013) at El Museo del Barrio, and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003) at the International Center of Photography. González-Lang’s work has also been presented in Autopsia de lo invisible (2008) at MALBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Import/Export (2005) at RISD Museum in Providence, Ninguna de Las Anteriores (2005) at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan, and None of the Above (2004) at Real Art Ways in Hartford. He was a grant recipient of an Art Matters grant, and earned a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (Calarts) in Valencia and an MFA from Columbia University in New York. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
About Irvin Morazan
(b. 1976, El Salvador; lives in Richmond, Virginia)
Morazan’s work has been in exhibitions at El Museo Del Barrio, Jersey City Museum, and MARTE Museum in El Salvador; and the artist has presented performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the 11th and 12th editions of Performa, among other places. His work has been included in the 10th Central America Biennial (2016) in Costa Rica, 10th Mercosul Biennial (2015) in Brazil, and the 11th Nicaragua Biennial (2014) in Nicaragua. Morazan has participated in artist residencies at the LMCC Workspace in New York, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and SOMA in Mexico City. He was recently awarded grants by Creative Capital, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Art Matters, among other foundations. Morazan has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and an MFA from Hunter College, both in New York. He is currently a Visiting Artist and Assistant Professor in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
About Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy is an art curator who was born in Mexicali, Mexico, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Since 2011, she has served as the curator of contemporary art for Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, based in New York and Caracas. She also teaches at the School of the Visual Arts in New York and is as a member of the board of directors of Triple Canopy, a nonprofit art magazine based in New York. Previously, Sofía served as director of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, held curatorial positions at Art in General and Americas Society in New York, and guest-curated exhibitions for Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, the MALBA in Buenos Aires, and the Center for Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2013, Sofía served as artistic director and chief curator of the 9a Bienal do Mercosul | Porto Alegre in Brazil; and before that, she was an agent of dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany. In 2009, she initiated the editorial project Murmur.