Saturday, April 23, 2022

Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) - Rocking the Market opens May 6th at BRAC Gallery


Bronx River Art Center Presents:

 An Exhibition of Performance Art by Three Queer Latina/x Artists from New York and California 

Nao Bustamante, Carmelita Tropicana and Marga Gomez

Curated by Bronx-based artist Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo Ovalles

May 6 - June 11, 2022

Opening Reception May 12th 6:30 - 9:00pm
Nao Bustamante Performing Live at 7:30pm

In ROCKING THE MARKET three queer Latina/x performance artists, Nao Bustamante, Carmelita Tropicana and Marga Gomez, experiment with food through performance, video, audio and written art forms. 

Photo: Nao Bustamante in collaboration with Miguel Calderon, The Chain South, 1998
Video Still. Image courtesy of the artist

Food embodies life in all of its manifestations and nuances. Taste is the idiom the tongue usually remembers even when native languages have been suppressed, surrendered, hybridized, slowly forgotten or eradicated. Food is political — encompassing non-human animal rights, eco-activism, veganism, vegetarianism, food justice, and hunger. These food “conversations” include what is eaten and who gets to eat on our generous, but exploited planet. Forget sexuality, politics and religion; they are all contained in any given dish. Buen provecho

Nao Bustamante’s intimate dialogues with flour, water, and salt, while baking bread during the isolating Covid pandemic is an act of reclaiming somatic connections in her West Coast kitchen; the act of which ultimately transforms into the likes of an 80’s discotheque. In a podcast, Carmelita Tropicana talks to us about her obsession with food while simultaneously using humor as a weapon to decolonize a number of food items that are no longer associated with their actual birthplaces. Marga Gomez shares the script for a Cuban Mojito, a drink that has been so utterly gentrified that she has to argue against a white-washed recipe that calls for vodka instead of Caribbean rum, because the latter is “…too dark.” Any way you experience it, be certain that this exhibition will not prompt you to fast.

ROCKING THE MARKET refers to two interpretations of “to rock.” In the case of a baby, it means security and comfort for the newborn, as we move them gently from side to side. However, it also points to an iconoclastic reading, which expresses shaking something to the core of its foundations until the house crumbles like a coffee cake. Likewise, this exhibition delves into food and eating as it pertains to immigration, hybridization, memories, indigeneity, and appropriation within the context of the United States. ROCKING THE MARKET‘s understanding of the “Market” is that of the elite establishment propagating oppressive and outdated systems overdue to be rocked by a furious public. Once these systems are broken down there will be hope for regeneration.

This exhibition finds its home in the South Bronx, a place that houses the biggest produce market in the U.S. and yet is where the majority of our neighbors experience a food apartheid on a daily basis. The three cult figure artists in ROCKING THE MARKET stir a cast iron cauldron of ingredients in their performance and comedy that spices up the presentations! 

Along with the exhibition, there will be a series of live actions including Hamburger Hands by Nao Bustamante to be performed live during the opening on May 12th. In June, Carmelita Tropicana will do a performance for children and families involving fruits and vegetables, while Marga Gómez will join us online with a cabaret style comedy. Check our website in late May for updates and more information. 

This exhibition is dedicated to the late José Esteban Muñoz.
-- Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo Ovalles

This exhibition is a prelude to INDECENCIA! opening at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art this coming Fall. 
Photo: Carmelita Tropicana roof top, Photo by Uzi Parnes
COVID-19 vaccination proof requirements have expanded to include younger children and to require full vaccination:

Children: Children ages 5 to 11 are now required to have proof of vaccination for the public indoor activities. They must show they have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Full Vaccination: People 12 and older participating in public indoor activities are now required to show proof they have received two vaccine doses, except for those who have received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Starting January 29, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 must also show proof of full vaccination.

Attendees will also be required to be masked.

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