Donna Huanca: Crane (Balearica)
Sculpture – Cast crystal, pigment and mixed media
13.78 × 9.45 in
Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin
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Donna Huanca: Polystyrene’s Braces was a solo exhibition presented as part of Art in General’s International Collaborations Program at kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia, December 6, 2015 – January 31, 2016.
Focusing on themes of migration, mobility, and socio-cultural displacement, Art in General’s two individual solo exhibitions at kim? with Donna Huanca and Ezra Wube demonstrate each artist’s relationship to historical and embodied memory through an ongoing engagement with the figure. Both artists repurpose the methods and logic of painting, as well as the associative capacities of color to unpack senses of longing; experiences of spatio-temporal disjunction; and the mapping of cultural norms onto the body. Huanca and Wube collectively apply this engagement through animation, photography, video, sculpture, and performance.
Donna Huanca (American, b. 1980) received her BFA in 2004 from the University of Houston, Texas. She layers painting and sculpture in mixed media installations that double as sites of performance, interaction, and live music. At the center of her work is clothing, which she scrounges from second-hand and local shops on her worldwide travels. For her, clothes serve as powerful stand-ins for the human body, as she has described: “Garments evoke bodies and carry their form and spirit.” Since 2012, she has also incorporated live models into her pieces, who she invites to improvise and interact with her surrounding sculptures and installations. These include abstract assemblages comprised of various arrangements of dyed and altered clothing; canvases marked with makeup; and objects recalling glass boxes and mirrors. References to origins, memory, time, and identity run throughout Huanca’s work, which evokes the complexity of influences that shape who we are.