The process-driven practices of artist Laura Anderson Barbata engage a wide variety of platforms and geographies. Centered on issues of cultural diversity and sustainability, her work blends political activism, street theater, sculpture, and arts education. Since the early 1990s, Anderson Barbata has initiated projects with people living in the Amazon of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway, and New York. The results of these collaborations range from public processional performances to artist books and handmade paper, textiles, garments, and the repatriation of an exploited 19th century Mexican woman. Over the years, Anderson Barbata’s art has brought public attention to several issues of civil, indigenous, and environmental rights.
Transcommunality focuses on five collaborations that Anderson Barbata has made across the Americas and presents them together for the first. It offers a space to contemplate ritual, folklore and impact of the natural environment on culture. It equally centers oral histories and the interdisciplinary academic thought that shapes Anderson Barbata’s engaging creations. Celebrating the human experience, Anderson Barbata’s globally diverse collaborators consciously revive intangible cultural heritage and resist homogenization by deploying skills inherent to the survival of their local expressions. Performance documentation and stunning garments throughout the museum invite onlookers to connect with the traditions of West Africa, the Amazon, Mexico, and the Caribbean while exploring visual narratives.
Artist: Laura Anderson Barbata