State of the Art: Your Weekly Guide to NYC's Latino Art Openings

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State of The Art is Remezcla’s weekly guide to Latin art openings in your city each week. Mingle with art admirers, collectors and casual passersby to check out these new works. And don’t forget to grab a free glass of wine…or three.
This week we are in the middle of the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival which takes place in venues, studios and public spaces all over Brooklyn until July 28th.

There is little information on the site about each performance, so you might not know what you’re getting yourself into. This impromptu-element is intrinsic to performance art, and can force you, the audience member, to be taken out of your routine thoughts. As opposed to visual arts, performance art takes a more confrontational approach in interacting with the audience and usually encourages participation.

Last Friday, I attended a performance act by the collective La Pocha Nostra, headed by the Chicano artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña and before it began I had no idea what to expect. The exhibition space had no stage, and there was no clear line between audience member and performance artist. However, once the actors began to perform, the spatial designations became more clear and “stations” of performance became visible. One of the actresses, a bare-chested blonde with a feather headpiece and an outfit like Sheeva from Mortal Kombat, paced between the audience members. She wore platform combat boots, a dark red corset and wielded a bat. Another station in the act had an acupuncturist pressing needles into a naked woman’s body. Little flags with corporate logos like McDonalds, H&M and Zara were attached to the ends of the needles. The fluctuation of my reactions created a type of emotional confusion as the actors experienced violence, idolization and eventually transformations.

Some performances might inspire offense and others might not be as confrontational or shocking. It’s simply important to know that performance art is not your run-of-the-mill gallery show. It accentuates passions and human emotions that sometimes lie dormant or untapped in our psyches. You can access the full list of performances here, but here are a few happenings I think might be interesting:


Rafael Sanchez Traveling Performance

On Saturday, July 13th performance artist Rafael Sanchez will be hosting several acts including a Traveling Performance at 12pm at the Woods Cooperative. The Woods Cooperative is in Ridgewood off the M train Seneca Avenue stop. At 1pm the group will migrate to Glasshouse, a gallery in Williamsburg. Rafael Sanchez is known to subject his body to feelings of extreme pressures and pain in order to release hidden energies and memories. He is also known to take his acts to the public, in the street not keep it solely contained in the artspace.

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The Woods Cooperative
1826 Palmetto #1
Ridgewood, New York 11385

Rafael Sanchez will also give a separate performance at 4pm at Glasshouse.

246 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Climate Change: Language Action Poetry Facilitators – From Asia With Love

Grace Exhibition Space is a loft in Bushwick that primarily hosts performance art and is known for its presentation of dynamic artists and collectives. This group of artists from Shanghai, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia have come together to perform language action poetry. These artists rarely come to NYC, so take advantage of all the rarities this festival brings. Go see something that might just blow your mind. The performance begins at 9pm and ends at 11pm.

Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11206