We mourn the loss of our beloved friend and Vice President of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art Board of Trustees, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Ph.D.

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Nadia Granados, Colombianización. Courtesy of the artist.

INDECENCIA

Sep 16 - Jan 15, 2023

INDECENCIA brings together a cohort of queer/rare* artists from Latin America and/or of Latin American descent and living in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean or in-between spaces/identities, whose praxes center on performance art and ephemeral actions. From the perspective of several generations, countries, and sociopolitical contexts, these artists invite us to consider Latinidad/Latinxidad and its relationship to religion, enfleshment, and sexuality. Their inquiries extend—through videos, props, scripts, costumes, and other channels—to the disjointed corpus of an entire hemisphere where, for many, the colonized and the colonizer can easily wrestle within a single body.

INDECENCIA engages the indecent theology envisioned and incarnated by Marcella Althaus-Reid (1952–2009), whose unorthodox writing digs deep into sexual dissidence and gender and class analysis. Althaus-Reid’s theology, departing from Catholic Liberation theology, calls for “lifting the skirts of God” to unclothe patriarchy and its oppressing ramifications. Her view of the indecent, and the act of turning something indecent, dismantles normality to not only formulate new questions but produce new answers. Concomitantly, the exhibition connects with the decolonial theory of Walter Mignolo and the idea of “Latin America” as the colonial/imperial project that has shaped the region.

Who is included in or excluded from the Latin/Latinx American and “American” colonial-capitalist corporate enterprise? With this in mind, INDECENCIA remains aware of the potentialities imbued in Latinidad/Latinxidad in relationship to individuals and groups representative of dissimilar backgrounds and yet sharing common histories/herstories/theirstories of European colonization and US imperialism and who are searching for self-determination. And this is where theologizing without underwear, bringing rosaries into the lesbian bar, or talking about God while having sex with the “wrong” partner—performing the sacred with the forbidden—turn into quite indecent and liberatory projects.

This exhibition is dedicated to the late Marcella Althaus-Reid.

Participating artists: Luis A., Arantxa Araujo, Arthur Avilés, Nao Bustamante, Susana Cook, Anna Costa e Silva and Nina Terra, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Marga Gomez, Félix González Torres, Nadia Granados (La Fulminante), Noelia Quintero and Rita Indiana, Carlos Martiel, Carlos Leppe, Elizabeth “MACHA” Marrero, Ivan Monforte, Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa, Charles Rice-González, Jesusa Rodríguez and Liliana Felipe, Carmelita Tropicana & Uzi Parnes & Ela Troyano, and Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis.

Curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo Ovalles.

*“Raro” is the curator’s translation of “queer” in Spanish. “Raro” means strange, weird, or unusual.