Slow to a Halt:
New Performances by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful and Alicia Grullón
Friday, January 13, 2017
6 to 8pm
Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful and Alicia Grullón, two artists featured in the exhibition Enacting Stillness, use slowness and silence in their performative interventions in public spaces. Estévez and Grullón's projects, which were on view at The 8th Floor, contain video and object-based ephemera that engage with issues of gentrification, labor conditions, immigration, and the role of art in civic life. Their performances on January 13 marked the closing of the exhibition Enacting Stillness.
For his new action titled //, Estévez Raful offered hands-on-healing sessions to assist individuals in attaining energetic balance and reconnecting with the larger flow of life. Estévez Raful conceived of the act of care as a choreography that combines dance and stillness, tangible visuals and mental visualizations, sound and silence with healing. Likewise, he created a vibrational sculpture defined by the outer walls containing the room where // took place, experienced by the audience at a purely intuitive level.
Alicia Grullón's The Rule Is Love was a durational performance that dealt with the normalization of acts of exclusion, spectatorship, apathy, and conformity. Through the piece, Grullón sought to question the systems that constitute these conditions forming our epistemic base. The Rule Is Love augmented Grullón's work that deals with critiques on the politics of presence, making an argument for the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in political and social spheres. Inspired by citizen action movements, her response to social justice issues comes from an impulse to chronicle and witness, taking into close account the intersection of race, class, gender, politics and activism. Grullón writes, "Ultimately, I do my work to decolonize the world through art."
Alicia Grullón moves between performance, video, and photography, channeling her interdisciplinary approach towards critiques on the politics of presence, an argument for the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in political and social spheres. She received a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Grullón’s works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions including for Franklin Furnace, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, BRIC House for Arts and Media, Center for Book Arts, School of Visual Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Jamaica Flux 10, Performa 11, Old Stone House, and Art in Odd Places. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, Bronx Council on the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, and Franklin Furnace Archives, among others. She has participated in residencies in the United States, Korea, and Germany and has done workshops for the Creative Time Summit 2015, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts, The Royal College of Art, United States Association for Art Educators, Culture Push, and Migrating Academies in Kassel, Germany. These workshops were a part of Grullon's legislative social practice project PERCENT FOR GREEN, a functioning green bill created as art with Bronx residents. This project contributed to her acting as one of the co-lead organizers in the Bronx for the People's Climate March. Grullon is presently a fellow at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery and Artist Catalyst for The Laundromat Project in the South Bronx. She is currently serving as a mentor for NYFA's Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in Social Practice Art. Her work has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, Creative Time Reports, Art Fag City, New York Daily News, and The Brooklyn Press. (aliciagrullon.com)
Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful treads an elusive path that manifests itself performatively or through experiences where the quotidian and art overlap. He has exhibited and performed extensively in the U.S. as well as internationally at venues such as Madrid Abierto/ARCO, The IX Havana Biennial, PERFORMA 05 and 07, IDENSITAT, Prague Quadrennial, NYU Cantor Film Center, The Pontevedra Biennial, Queens Museum, MoMA, Printed Matter, P.S. 122, Hemispheric Institute of Performance Art and Politics, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Anthology Film Archives, The Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, The 8th Floor, Casita Maria, The MacDowell Colony, Provisions Library, El Museo del Barrio, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, The Center for Book Arts, Longwood Art Gallery/BCA, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Franklin Furnace, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. During the past seven years Estévez Raful has received mentorship in art in everyday life from Linda Mary Montano, a historic figure in the performance art field. Montano and Estévez Raful have also collaborated on several performances. Residencies attended include P.S. 1/MoMA, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He has received grants from Art Matters, Lambent Foundation, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Printed Matter, and the Puffin Foundation. Estévez Raful Holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with Coco Fusco, and an MA from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He has curated exhibitions and programs for El Museo del Barrio, the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, Cuchifritos, The Center for Book Arts, and Longwood Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts, New York, and for the Filmoteca de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain. Publications include Pleased to Meet You, Life as Material for Art and Vice Versa (editor) and For Art’s Sake. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, in 2011, Estévez Raful was baptized as a Bronxite; a citizen of the Bronx.