In her new series of paintings, Firelei Báez casts diasporic histories into an imaginative realm, re-working visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. With a goal to reclaim power, Báez overlays figuration, symbolic imagery, and abstract gesture onto large-scale reproductions of found maps and documents. She populates these historically-loaded representations of space with change-making creatures—whose hybrid forms incorporate folkloric and literary references, textile pattern, plantlife, and wide-ranging emblems of healing and resistance—to present fictional alternative universes.
In this video, Báez speaks about her latest exhibition, her ongoing use of found book pages, and mythologies ranging from the Dominican ciguapa to the black Atlantis developed in the techno music of Drexciya.
This video was produced on the occasion of Firelei Báez's solo exhibition at James Cohan on view from March 5 - July 2, 2020.