Between Heaven and Earth and Rootless Algas, multimedia installations by Grimanesa Amorós, will be on view.
Commissioned as part of the college’s celebration of Peruvian culture, Amorós’ interdisciplinary sculptural and video works include musical collaborations with acclaimed Peruvian vocalist Susana Baca and celebrated Icelandic composer Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson.
Between Heaven and Earth and Rootless Algas are based on the artist’s journeys to Iceland and Norway respectively. Between Heaven and Earth was inspired by Amorós’ explorations of the Fjörds of Central Western Norway, where she discovered the existence of remote communities of people who live high atop the mountainous peaks. Drawing parallels and illuminating contrast between their social and economic isolation and that of the inhabitants of high-rise public housing projects in New York City, Amorós’ video interweaves melancholic panoramas of glacial ponds and sweeping waterfalls with stark urban imagery of housing projects in the Bronx. Susana Baca’s accompanying soundtrack, Nacimiento de Voces (Birth of Voices), with its undulating wails and echoing cries, infuses the piece with a preternatural power.
On her visit to the remote Icelandic island of Flatey, Amorós came to see the thick, glistening masses of diverse algae that settled on rocks around the shoreline as a metaphor for her own uprooting from her Peruvian homeland. The resulting piece, Rootless Algas, eschews narrative, juxtaposing multi-hued, undulating strands of abaca, a resilient, leafy fiber, with lush, sensual nature images of the color-rich aquatic plants. Against this dream space, somber string music composed by Hilmarsson imbues the space with a sense of longing and isolation.
About Grimanesa Amorós
Grimanesa Amorós is an interdisciplinary artist with diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory, which have greatly influenced her work. She often uses sculpture, video, lighting and sound to create works that illuminate our notions of personal identity and community. Amorós utilizes her art as an agent of empowerment to involve viewers from all different backgrounds and communities. She is an American, born in Lima, Peru and currently living and working in New York City. Amorós studied at The Art Students League (1984-1988) and Private Ateliers in Lima, Peru (1981-1983).
About Susana Baca
Susana Baca is one of South America’s greatest vocalists and is well known for reinterpreting and contemporizing traditional Peruvian music. Baca won an international following with Maria Lando, a track on the 1995 David Byrne-produced The Soul of Black Peru and currently records on Byrne’s LUAKA BOP label. Baca is a tireless researcher, and is largely responsible for the revival of many forms of Afro-Peruvian folklore. She is also the founder of the Centro Experimental de Musica Negrocontinuo (Institute of the Black Continuum), a cultural center dedicated to the study of Afro-Peruvian music and dance.
About Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson
Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson is a composer for film who currently lives in Reykjavík, Iceland. He most recently worked on the film Beouwulf and Grendel (2005), directed by Sturla Gunnarsson. Hilmar composed the music for In the Cut (2003), directed by Jane Campion. He has also collaborated with musical artists such as Sigur Rós.
There will be a live concert featuring Susana Baca on March 28 at 7:30 PM at the Main Theater at Hostos Community College, located at 450 Grand Concourse. Tickets are $25 or $20 if purchased in advance. For advance tickets, please contact 718 518 4455 or visit www.hostos.cuny.edu/culturearts