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  • ISSUE 1

    Duron Chavis (b. 1980, Richmond, VA; Lives in Richmond, VA), a food justice activist, created a Resiliency Garden, outside the ICA: a space both to grow fresh produce and to teach about the links between food insecurity, access to green space, and systemic racism. Initiated in response to COVID-19 in the spirit of mutual aid, the project now also responds to the ICA’s location near an epicenter of the first wave of the Black Lives Matter protest in Richmond. Chavis and collaborating designer Quilian Riano of DSGN AGNC chose to echo the “Black Lives Matter” street murals painted around the country in summer 2020 by integrating the phrase “Black Space Matters” into the garden.

    Mónica Rodríguez (b. 1980, San Juan, PR; Lives in Los Angeles, CA), inspired by a 19th-century call to create an Antillean Federation to combat colonialism in the Caribbean created a new site-specific digital mural that pairs drawings of monuments to independence struggles in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico with a revolutionary statement from Puerto Rican independence advocate Ramón Emeterio Betances (1827–1898). Unlike many monuments torn down across the U.S. by protestors in summer 2020, these monuments were meant to uplift the people and oppose colonial oppression.

    Sharon Hayes (b. 1970, Baltimore, MD; Lives in Philadelphia, PA) extends her ongoing series Ricerche (Italian for “research”) with Ricerche: two, which balances individual and collective voices. In early 2020, Hayes interviewed members of two women’s tackle football teams, who discuss the pleasure they find in strength, skill, camaraderie, and the power of being part of a chosen family of teammates. At the ICA, it is shown on a gently curving screen to evoke the embrace of a huddle and link the viewer’s body, the bodies on-screen, and the space.

    ISSUE 2

    Firelei Báez (b. 1981, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic; Lives in New York, NY) created two new works that overlay historical maps from Philadelphia and Richmond with powerful new imagery. These are reproduced at a billboard scale, one in a public site in Philadelphia and the other on the ICA’s exterior.
    Alicia Díaz (b. 1970, San Juan, PR; Lives in Richmond, VA), a dancer and choreographer, partnered with a large group of collaborators to create Entre Puerto Rico y Richmond: Women in Resistance shall not be Moved, a performance for camera. Filmed in a former American Tobacco Company warehouse, the work links the colonizing economies of Virginia and Puerto Rico and invokes the pioneering labor activist Luisa Capetilla and Afro-Puerto Rican nationalist leader Dominga de la Cruz as inspiration for the present. At the ICA, the film is presented within a related installation titled Entre Puerto Rico y Richmond: Bridging Stories of Resistance, which evokes the factory’s atmosphere and connects these historical figures to contemporary activism.

    Nelson Rivera (Lives in San Juan, PR), an artist, art historian, and activist, created El Maestro 4, in which a performance score calls for performers, born and raised in the U.S. with no knowledge of Spanish, to read texts by the late Pedro Albizu Campo (1891-1965) an attorney and leader in the movement for Puerto Rican independence from the United States. These speeches, delivered from 1948 to 1950, were made during the US military occupation of Puerto Rico, when it had partial sovereignty and before it was designated as a commonwealth, an unincorporated territory of the United States. This performance will occur periodically in and around the ICA during open hours, with select performances shared on social media.

    ISSUE 3

    Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, London, UK; Lives in Los Angeles, CA) created an installation titled Distressed Debt, in which she printed hanging fabric panels with imagery drawn from historical public utility bonds for water, sewage, electricity, and infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. These bonds have often been a mechanism to commodify natural resources in the name of civic development. Puerto Rico has a bond debt 15 times that of the other states in the U.S., a situation called “distressed debt,” the source for the title.
    Tanya Lukin Linklater (Alutiiq, b. 1976, Kodiak, AK; Lives in North Bay, Ontario, Canada), an artist who often works with dance and choreography, has designed space for Indigenous performance in collaboration with architect Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Métis, b. 1982, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) The ICA’s exhibition pairs their 2019 sculpture Indigenous geometries with Linklater’s newly commissioned performance for camera This moment an endurance to the end forever. This work is filmed in two locations: Lukin Linklater performs with two of the “spines” from the sculpture within the intimate space of her own living room, while two dancers perform in a natural setting—a COVID-era adaptation to her original plan for a public open rehearsal and live performance. This new work is part of an ongoing series of performances related to Indigenous geometries. This iteration focuses on qualities of atmosphere, as well as breath, song, and language. During a time in which breath can carry danger, when movement is restricted when speech can be so charged, what does it mean to breathe alongside one another, to move alongside one another, to speak alongside one
    The Conciliation Project (TCP) (Founded 2001, Richmond, VA) is an anti-racist group whose performances begin with research: they interview diverse groups of citizens and collaboratively develop a script based on the voices and ideas they encounter. This flexible approach has allowed them to pivot to address the current racial justice protests; the program shifted from a planned live performance to a filmed broadcast on November 15, 2020. TCP is led by VCUarts Theater professor Dr. Tawnya Pettiford Wates and educator, activist, and drummer Dr. Ram Bahgat.