Friday, October 9, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month- Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

The work of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons addresses the Afro-Cuban diaspora and her exilic identity as a woman of Yoruba ancestry, born in a former slave barracks in the sugar plantation town La Vega in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, now living and working in Boston. Campos-Pons works primarily in photography, performance, audiovisual media, and sculpture. She is considered a "key figure" among Cuban artists who found their voice in a post-revolutionary Cuba.[1]

After 1994, there was a shift in Campos-Pons's work where it became what has been described as a "self-ethnography."[1] This work is largely autobiographical and has tended to examine her ancestors' relationship with slavery and the sugar industry.[9] She started using large-format photographs which were often arranged into diptychs, triptychs or other configurations. These works are reminiscent of works by Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems, but have a pleasing visual and narrative imagery that is uniquely her own.[1]

I had the chance to see a lecture by Campos-Pons and I was most captivated by her character FeFa.
Magda’s and Neil’s Prospectus contributions are based on their continuing multimedia art work FeFaFeFastands for “familiares en el estranjero” [Fe] and “family abroad “[Fa]. According to Magda, “FeFa is both an artistic persona [hers] and a metaphor for the immigration, exile, family and community separation experienced by numerous Cuban families.” An early version of FeFa as a discernible art work was an installation and extended performance for the Havana (Cuba) Biennial exhibition in Spring 2012. The latest is a multimedia installation and performance for the Cuban national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2013

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