Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is a Cuban-American painter and installation artist.

“Living abroad has brought into sharp relief her experiences as an uprooted black Cuban woman and has compelled her to consider the oral and performative traditions that constitute primary carriers of black identity in the diaspora. These influences complement Campos-Pons’ renewed investigation of Santeria ritual and symbology, through which she now struggles to find her new place by establishing connections with the past” (from the book Artists from Latin American Cultures: a Biographical Dictionary)

In another work, Spoken Softly with Mama, from 1998, she represented her family and past slave families through video images, fabric, furniture, sound, and objects. Campos-Pons spoke about the installation and the influence of space and material objects on identity:

A space can bear the imprint of its inhabitants even in their absence. An object can personify an individual even more than his or her portrait. This is the concept behind the selection of objects- furniture for the installation; a portrait of a family narrated through the voices of objects that constitute their environment (Congdon, 54, 55).

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