Madeline Jiménez Santil One month after being known in that island

Madeline Jiménez Santil (b. 1986) is a Dominican installation artist who divides her time between Mexico City and Santo Domingo. She studied design at Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic and fine arts at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City. She was commissioned for the XIV FEMSA 2020 Biennial, Inestimable Azar, in Michoacán, Mexico.

ON VIEW: The Construction of the Strange, 2020

ON VIEW: The Construction of the Strange, 2020

Some experts from Brian Fee’s interview with Madeline Jiménez Santil.

Q: In describing your practice, you’ve talked about being interested in the relationship “between a body as sensitive matter and geometry as an ideological structure of power.” How do these interests play out in your work?

A: It amuses me to think that the “purity” of the traditional object can be “contaminated” by being traversed by a body with a specific history. To me, intersection is how the best objects take form. Intersection forces us to invent new things. It is the disturbance of the old that leads to something new. My embodied experience as a migrant, which takes from here and there to build its continually fluctuating identity, is similar. Perhaps that’s why much of my work comes from performance. I find it hard to think about the ​​permanence of things. For me, the object must have an intrinsic relationship with the geography it occupies. A painting by Picasso in the Caribbean should be presented in a place where you can sweat, with some nitrate at one end—or, failing that, where you can contemplate it while getting soaked in the rain.

Q: You were born in the Dominican Republic, and live and work between there and Mexico City. How does place inform you as an artist?

A: My work has something that disturbs in both places I live, as if it is resistant to following the established codes of either location. At first, it felt uncomfortable, living in this permanently disjointed way. Increasingly, I see it as a virtue. It has pushed me to develop my language. Of course, these processes take a long time. Mexico City moves vertiginously. When I am in Santo Domingo, I feel as if I have entered a time capsule. It has another rhythm. Then again, if the dembow was reading this, he would raise his hand to contradict me.


To explore the other artists on view, click here.
To view the exhibtion One month after being known on that island, click here.

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