Over the past year five artists have come together to form the collective Grupo < >, organizing weekly meetings to develop writing and dialogue around their distinct practices while building a broader understanding of the histories that influenced them or their families to migrate to the United States.
The five NYC-based artists in Grupo < > are:
Constanza Alarcón Tennen – Santiago, Chile.
Aurora De Armendi – Havana, Cuba.
Marcela Flórido – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Mariana Garibay Raeke – Guadalajara, Mexico.
Alva Mooses – Chicago, U.S.A
Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2015.
Constanza Alarcón Tennen (Santiago, Chile. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work varies between sound installations, videos and sculptures, among other medias.
She focuses mainly on the impossibility to represent and reconstruct some situations, which fluctuate from simple autobiographical memories to geological events.
She graduated from Universidad Católica de Chile (BFA 2009) and from Yale University (MFA 2015). Her work has been shown internationally in groups and solo exhibitions such as Migratorry Patterns (NYC, 2015), Time Item, (New Haven, 2015), and Y sin embargo se mueve (Santiago, 2012). In 2010 she received a FONDART, a grant to develop the project Y sin embargo se mueve and for the publication of a catalogue. She was awarded with a Becas Chile, a scholarship program that allowed her to pursue her MFA studies. In 2015 she received the Susan H. Whedon Award for outstanding student in Sculpture when she graduated from her the Sculpture Department at Yale. Constanza lives and works between Santiago and NYC.
Aurora De Armendi studied at The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, NY (BFA, 2005) and The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (MA & MFA, 2009). She was selected to be part of the program Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) at The Bronx Museum of Art during 2012-13 and she was awarded a full year residency from The Center for Book Arts, New York in 2013. Her work has been included on group exhibitions at the Bronx Biennial (Wave Hill Garden, Bronx, NY, 2013), International Print Center (New York, 2009, 2012 and 2013), The Center for Book Arts, (New York, 2013) as well as in cities in the United States, Iceland, Hungary, Argentina, Cuba among others. She is currently teaching at The Cooper Union Outreach Program and Parsons The New School for Design and is part of the executive board of The Cuban Cultural Center of New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
As an interdisciplinary artist, I use a range of media – particularly print media, text, video and book arts to explore ideas of displacement, identity, collective memory and the poetics of space/place. My creative studio work is balanced between research and material explorations. I often work with series, and most recently on long-term collaborative projects using the form of the book for its time-based qualities and the tactile intimacy it offers between maker and viewer.
My interest in trace, not as a physical gesture but as an idea in itself has provoked the exploration of the myths, stories and subjective histories that construct our conceptions of place. My interest in the archival, principally organizing our engagement with these conceptions, has informed two other artist’s books; primary source library collections of photographs, oral histories, interviews and conversations. For instance, In Three Taíno Myths, I look at the writings of Fray Ramón Pané to understand the mythology of the native people of Cuba and the process of colonization of native cultures in the Caribbean.
In Mythologies of Return: Revisiting Ana Mendieta’s Rupestrian Sculptures, I trace the steps of Ana Mendieta back to Cuba in search of her Rupestrian Sculptures. This piece was inspired after learning about Mendieta’s intention to make an artist’s book based on these sculptures, a project never completed before her tragic and sudden death. My work rescues this lost history by creating an artist’s book that presents photogravures documenting Mendieta’s Rupestrian Sculptures 30 years after their original conception.
As an artist/cultural producer, I wish to provide a space of reflection in aesthetic experience for the complexities of being human.
Alva Mooses studied at The Cooper Union (BFA, 2005) and at Yale University School of Art (MFA, 2014). She has exhibited her work internationally and most recently presented her work in an artist talk at the Swiss Institute in NYC. She received a Yale University Robert Schoelkopf Prize for her fieldwork in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation ACE Grant for the collaborative publication, Correspondence from NYC to PAP. She has completed artist residencies at The University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Program, Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, the Grafisk Verksted in Stavanger, Norway and the Davidoff Art Initiative in the Dominican Republic. She has taught bookbinding at The Cooper Union and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Art Department at Cornell University. She lives in New York City.
My work examines relationships between objects, people, and geographic terrain as a means to explore cultural understanding and political structures. My studio practice is informed by nearly a decade of organizing community art initiatives and informal residencies situated in unused spaces in Latin America. These projects created a platform for over forty New York City-based artists to make their work, collaborate and teach art in new contexts.
Marcela Florido’s paintings explore the terrain of private fiction and narrative, proposing spatial tensions that are entwined with emotional histories. Influences from memories, books, mass media and personal archives suggest a world that is photographically still and inhabited. By collapsing different visual vocabularies, Florido’s paintings are invariably told from conflicting perspectives.
Marcela Florido was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, London (BFA, 2012) and at Yale University School of Art, CT (MFA, 2015). In 2015 the artist received the Viridian Prize from Lauren Hinkson, senior curator at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and in 2014 she was selected to be part of the March Program at Sharjah Art Foundation where she has a solo exhibition. Her upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at the United States Institute, Brazil (May, 2016); Two group shows opening in London (Kennington Residencies, December 2015 and Display Gallery, June 2016), lectures at Art Basel Miami Beach and Cornell University. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK), the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (New Haven, 2014), Fabrica Bhering, (Rio de Janeiro, 2009) as well as in cities in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, United Arab Emirates, Brazil among others. Marcela Florido lives and works in Brooklyn.