Mariana Valencia’s AIR at Performance Space New York
Performance Space New York continues The Stages Series with the world premiere of Mariana Valencia’s AIR (January 9-11, 16-18). A melding of movement and text, AIR pays homage to Mexican television and film figures like Don Ramon, El Chavo, Cantinflas, and Maria Felix. Like New York’s experimental dance history, these pop cultural icons have informed her work, and are evoked in a swirling atmosphere of influence. Valencia assumes the role of a news anchor, presenting references as origin stories and creation myths, layering and morphing in their intersection with the artist’s movement.
Valencia says, “I'm thinking about the nature of my work’s hybridity and my influences. The media that surrounded us when we’re kids, when the TV and radio were always on, they were airwaves until they arrived to us as content. From a young age, I was exposed to these very specific lines of popular culture coming from Spanish speaking media and syndicated television. Of course they weren't unique to me— so in this work, I'm also considering the hybridity that other artists of my generation have been straddling."
Valencia thus nods to generations of mestiza and Latinx artists in the United States (from East Los Angeles-based collective Asco to her contemporaries)—artists existing in a hybridity of cultures, positioned in-between, learning how to belong and not belong to the one or the other. In AIR, Valencia draws commonalities and kinships to this diaspora as they synthesize within her body of work and research as a Latina artist. She shows us we are all listening through osmosis.
Performances of AIR will take place at Performance Space New York (150 1st Avenue 4th floor, New York) January 9-11, 16-18 at 7pm. Tickets are $25, and are available at performacespacenewyork.org. ASL will be available on January 11. If you have any questions please email boxoffice@PerformanceSpaceNewYork.org.
The Stages Series seeks to rethink the dominant form and aesthetics that have informed the stage for centuries. Performance Space New York Deputy Director Pati Hertling’s first large-scale curatorial project at the organization invites artists to propose new platforms and conditions that transgress the black box and its institutional walls, positioning performance as an act of creation for and towards the future. The series began with work from rafa esparza, and has included an installation by Renata Lucas; a Marathon Reading of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (co-organized by Sarah Schulman with Shellyne Rodriguez, Charles Rice-González, and Norma Cantú); a GUSH party; An Evening With Princess Nokia; Kia LaBeija’s Untitled, The Black Act; Julie Tolentino and Oscar Nñ’s ur tongue in my mouth (November 16), Martine Gutierrez’s Circle (November 20, 22 – 23), Julie Tolentino’s Slipping into Darkness (December 7-13), and Julie Tolentino and Stosh Fila’s .bury.me.fiercely. (December 12). It features an installation by Sarah Zapata (through January 19). Upcoming events include ray ferreira’s to spiral seems to be the only option (December 19-21), Mariana Valencia’s AIR (January 9-11, 16-18), and Knowledge of Wounds, a series organized by S.J Norman and Joseph M. Pierce (January 11-12).
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