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minerva cuevas - prospect 4

the lotus in spite of the swamp - new orleans
november 18, 2017 - february 25, 2018
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minerva cuevas, prospect 4, new orleans, 2017

Prospect.4, the fourth iteration of a citywide exhibition finds inspiration in the lotus plant. The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp evokes New Orleans’s natural environment—surrounded by bayous, lakes, and wetlands near the mouth of the Mississippi River. It also alludes to the city’s unique cultural landscape as a creative force.

 

Prospect.4 overlaps with the city of New Orleans’s tricentennial celebration—the 300th anniversary of the founding of Nouvelle-Orléans by the French in 1718. Because of this serendipitous intersection, P.4 takes the city’s distinctive character as a point of departure to investigate global concerns. As with prior Prospects, P.4 is committed to being an international exhibition, while also directing more of its focus southward, placing greater emphasis on art and artists who engage with the American South and the Global South, particularly those from North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the European countries that colonized these regions.

 

Through the intervention of images and objects of daily consumption, Minerva Cuevas invites us to rethink the role corporations play in food production and the management of natural resources. Employing irony and humor, her work seeks to provoke reflection on politics and the potential impact of local actions on the enforcement of fair labor practices and the redistribution of monetary flow. Her practice encompasses a wide range of supports –including painting, video, sculpture, photography and installation–, through which she investigates certain power structures that underlie social and economic ties. Her interdisciplinary projects combine aspects of anthropology, product design and economics, in order to explore different ways of intervening in the urban space as well as in museums and galleries. She appropriates the language of the establishment (branding, advertisement and commerce) while delivering a message of non-compliance and resistance. A relentless critic of reality, Cuevas finds her source material by analyzing notions of value, exchange and ownership that rule the capitalist economy, as well as their consequences. Her works serve as tools to discuss the condition of the individual under the capitalist regime: the constant abuse, dispossession and estrangement from ancestral and cultural identity, as well as the latent possibility of revolt implicit in the everyday.

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