July 11 - October 7, 2023
From Rubin Center for the Visual Arts:
“Monument bases with missing busts or statues are a common sight in Jessica Kairé’s hometown, Guatemala City: this strange sight is usually due to improper maintenance or theft and, for the artist, these monument bases have become symbolic of both failed leadership and invisiblized histories. Levantamiento are a growing suite of interactive soft sculptures based on historic monuments that questions the currency and maintenance of monuments in public space, their influence on our social imaginary, and our role in upholding, or dismantling, the ideals and histories they represent. Each work is a scale replica of an existing monument, and remains either folded on a shelf, or collapsed on the floor until the public collectively decides to raise and animate it. The act of negotiating its various forms prompts participants to consider how these structures shape who we are, as well as our role in shaping them and their surrounding spaces. The monuments included here range from New York to Guatemala City to Ciudad Juárez: for this exhibition, Kairé created a new folding monument of the Monument to the Citizen or the Cigarette. Installation view, In Practice: Literally means collapse, SculptureCenter, New York, 2022. Photo: Charles Benton. Courtesy of the artist and Proyectos Ultravioleta.
About the Artist: Jessica Kairé is a Guatemalan artist and educator based in New York. She completed her BA at Hunter College in 2010, and she holds a degree in visual arts from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Guatemala City. In her practice, Kairé combines artistic and domestic elements to create works that engage the public in various forms of activation such as eating, manipulating and wearing. She is particularly interested in appropriating materials, objects, and contexts that are informed by personal or collective conflict, and altering the way we relate to them, using play and humor. Kairé’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City), Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles), Plato’s Cave at EIDIA (Brooklyn), and Centro Cultural Metropolitano (Guatemala City). Significant group exhibitions featuring her work include: In Practice: Literally means collapse, Sculpture Center, New York (2022); La imagen quema: perspectivas del videoarte en Guatemala, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala City (2022); 22nd Paiz Biennial, Guatemala (2021); 12th Mercosul Biennial, Port Alegre, Brazil (2020); SITElines Biennial: Casa Tomada, SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2018); Video SUR, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); HOME: So Different, So Appealing, Lacma, Los Angeles and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2017); among many others. Kairé co-founded and co-directs NuMu (Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo), an egg-shaped museum located in Guatemala City which remains the only museum of contemporary art in the country.”
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