Thursday, July 25, 2013
Firelei Báez is included in our summer exhibit Crossing the Line. She is of Haitian-Dominican descent, and her artwork involves large-scale, intricate works on paper indebted to a convergence of interests in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity, and “women's work.” Her art explores the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies.
Her work questions the formation of cultural identities and fleshes out tangled concepts about race. Her characters which she often re-works and inserts as silhouettes onto the pages of books, lack skin tones. Instead, the figures are created from flowers, flowing vines, and ornate decorations. They firmly reject definition in terms of skin color or physical traits.
She writes, "As more people become multiracial, skin tone is no longer a sufficient signifier. Growing media presence and more commonplace interactions via technology in our daily lives reduce each individual to a small part of a larger demographic. I use symbolically loaded scenarios to metaphorically illustrate the multiplicities and hypocrisies that make up the current discussion about race and class within popular culture".
Instead of specific bodies, faces, or characteristics, Báez prefers depicting people as interweaving, multiple patterns that are as unique and dynamic as humans themselves.
Watch the video here:
Firelei Báez – Crossing the Line from Mixed Greens on Vimeo.
--Mixed Greens intern, Callie Herod