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Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: The Navel of the Dream

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This exhibition marks Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s first in the Netherlands and is presented as part of Gatherings and Passages, a multi-year collaboration with Sour Grass, the Barbados-based curatorial agency led by Annalee Davis and Iyawo (Holly Bynoe Young). The initiative aims to foster a more comprehensive understanding of Caribbean contemporary art and culture, as well as to raise awareness about colonial histories, and experiences of post-colonialism and decolonization. Here, Sour Grass has written an introduction to the exhibition.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is a Puerto Rican-based artist who works primarily with expanded moving images. She develops her films and videos through writing, as well as through chance encounters and structured improvisation with nonactors. Over the years, she has been investigating what she refers to as the “sensorial unconscious.” Using tools of ethnography, she mines popular culture, history, and indigenous mythologies placing stories within stories, universes within universes, creating rich and textural interventions juxtaposing documentary with fiction and storytelling.

Muñoz’s artworks highlight multiple voices and points of reference from her homeland and its complex colonial histories with Spain and the United States. More recently, she’s been exploring the intersection of the anti-colonial unconscious with a growing awareness of ecosystems and the environment and how each is informed by place. In the making of her work, the artist’s lens becomes a witness to familiar sites that are portrayed anew, provoking a sense of disorientation within the viewer through her use of non-linear filmic strategies.

Including newly commissioned and recent film works The Navel of the Dream develops the artist’s ideas around visual archeology, decolonized spaces, and alternative models of being. These works are exhibited in conjunction with a new series of drawings and objects through which she continues to question possible futures in the region.

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