A public garden & cultural center

Joiri Minaya

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Container (documentation of performance), 2017. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Emil Rivera.

On October 21, 2017, Joiri Minaya staged her outdoor performance in the Monocot Garden. Performers in tropical print body-suits moved through a variety of poses, in response to the site-specific audio narratives emanating from the garments. Complementing the tropical plants and the history of the Monocot Garden, these narratives focused on human and plant camouflage and hyper-visibility.

#dominicanwomengooglesearch
Sunroom Project Space | July 12–September 5, 2016

#dominicanwomengooglesearch, 2016, digital prints and fabric on Sintra, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Joiri Minaya’s work confronts stereotypical expectations about the Caribbean and challenges romanticized notions of the tropics. She creates performance photographs, videos, digital collages and installations that use re-appropriated images and decorative patterns to defy popular media’s sexist conflation of lush nature with the female form. Throughout her practice, the Afro-Latina perspective subverts the male gaze, turning it against itself and dismantling the desire for the “exotic.”
A search on Google Images using the term “Dominican women” became the basis for Minaya’s current work. The results are a collection of figures, striking poses that are at once obedient to foreign fantasies while also seemingly assertive and self-confident. At Wave Hill, Minaya isolates parts of these figures and prints them to human proportions, pairing them with stylized “tropical” prints that are typically mass-marketed to tourists.At this scale, the imagery becomes pixelated; some have watermarks linking them to their digital point of origin. Suspended from the ceiling, the images blend in with the natural background visible through the windows, mimicking dense layers of foliage inside a greenhouse. Viewers navigate the forest of imagery to move through the Sun Porchspace. As they do so, they may take photos of the work and upload them to social media platforms. Anticipating this layer of visitor interaction, Minaya realizes that the imagesshe used to compose her project will be reinserted into the vast and searchable realmof the Internet, but in a hybridized, destabilized form.

 

#dominicanwomengooglesearch, 2016, digital prints and fabric on Sintra, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

 

Artist website

Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.