Announcing the Latinx Project’s Artist in Residence 2019:
The Latinx Project is delighted to announce the launch of our Artists in Residence Program, and to welcome multidisciplinary artist Shellyne Rodriguez as our inaugural artist in residence. This program is made possible by support from the Mellon Foundation, which supports our vision to institutionalize this program as a key component of the Latinx Project.
Through our artist in residence program, we will host one artist in residence a year to help advance individual artists’ careers while enriching our academic community. As the inaugural artist in residence, Shellyne Rodriguez co-curated the exhibition PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity opening at the King Juan Carlos Gallery February 15th, 2019. During her residence, she will lead presentations of the show to faculty, students and visitors, and will participate in our Art and Gentrification Symposium that will accompany the exhibition. The quality of Shellyne Rodriguez’s work and vision, her commitment to social justice, and to arts education and empowerment of Latinx communities makes her the perfect inaugural artist!
Shellyne Rodriguez is a visual artist who works in multiple mediums to depict spaces and subjects engaged in strategies of survival against false hope, a device employed in the service of subjugation. These psychological and emotive inquiries puts the Baroque in contact with a Decoloniality rooted in the traditions of hip hop culture. Her work utilizes text, drawing, painting, found materials, and sculpture to emphasize her ideas. Shellyne graduated with a BFA in Visual & Critical Studies From the School of Visual Arts and an MFA in Fine Art from CUNY Hunter College. She has had her work and projects exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum, New Museum and her work has recently been commissioned by the city of New York for a permanent public sculpture, which will serve as a monument to the people of the Bronx.
Here is an interview with Shellyne, and a link to her website.
LP: Can you tell us a bit about your work and your practice as an artist?
I work in a variety of mediums: drawing, painting, collage, works on paper and sculpture. I work mostly around the same ideas that I’ve been kicking around for about the last six years, which is trying to narrow down a psychic space that contends with the despair caused by oppression. I look at things like false hope and the mechanisms of false hope and the strategies of survival and I look at that specifically in the area where I live, where I was born and raised, in the South Bronx. I find inspiration in found objects, in detritus, in the documentation of interior spaces. My work is also in conversation with the baroque, in the way it illustrates the emotive. I call it el quebrao, or the broken baroque, a decolonizing of the baroque. Because we cannot help but be infected by the colonizer’s culture whether we want it or not, but just like the idea of syncretism, we posses it but we also change it, and we become a hybrid of it. To me, all of this is fundamentally tied to hip hop culture, because my work is about the sample and the remix.
LP: Tell us about some of the activities you have planned while you’re our inaugural
I am very excited to be the inaugural artist in residence. It’s a long time coming and I am very grateful for this space for us diaspora folk. Some of the things I have cooking up next spring is this exhibition we curated with the Latinx Project’s curatorial team, PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity looking at how artists and the Latinx community at large is responding to displacement, and how we’re doing this as artists, organizers, and members of our communities. I will also be hosting a panel at NYU with activists from these different enclaves. We’re still in conversation but I’m thinking about highlighting the fight in Sunset Park against industry city, and the recent struggles in Inwood and the Dominican community there, and our ongoing fight against rezonings citywide, but specifically for me in the southern boulevard section of the Bronx. Some of the artists participating in the show will also be part of a panel where we will be talking about these cross-sections.
LP: We’re also very excited about the tours of the exhibition you’ll be hosting with NYU students and the larger community so everyone can learn about the exhibition. Tell us a bit about your pedagogic strategies.
I am also a museum educator and very accustomed to talking to young people about art and helping them unpack and see past its layers. I was fortunate enough to help select the art in the show so I feel that I’m more than equipped to talk about it and get young people to see how these are visual responses to spatial precarity and how they may see that precariousness in their own lives and how they may respond. I know the exhibition will be a great launching pad for thought.
LP: Any last thoughts?
Yes – educate, agitate, organize! Shout out to the BX!
Shellyne will be hosting tours for the PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity Art show to students and the public with open hours as follows:
February 21st —10-11am and 11-12pm
March 5th —10-11am and 11-12pm
April 16th —3-4pm and 4-5pm
Get your tickets via Eventbrite and choose the time slot you would like to take the tour. Space is limited so reserve soon.