Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: The House at Kawinal at the New Museum

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: The House at Kawinal is at the New Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Tuesday – Sunday, June 6 – September 9, 2018.

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Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

The artist was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1978. He still lives and works there. Ramírez-Figueroa has an impressive resumé.

His work has been shown at the Venice Biennale (2017), São Paulo Biennial (2016), Lyon Biennale (2015), Gwangju Biennial (2014) and many others.

Ramírez-Figueroa’s performances have been hosted by the Guggenheim New York (2017), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016), Tate Modern London (2015), and Castello di Rivoli, Italy (2013).

He received the Mies van der Rohe Award (2017), a DAAD fellowship (2015), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012).

This is an artist who thinks – and makes you think.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: The House at Kawinal

This is Ramírez-Figueroa’s first solo exhibition in the United States. It includes a video of his performance Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm (2016) and new sculptures inspired by the effects of a hydroelectric dam built in Guatemala in the 1980s.

To build the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam, the Guatemalan government cleared the land by using the military to massacre the Achi Mayan people who lived there. The dam flooded the Late Mayan city of Kawinal.

This is just a personal interpretation, but Ramírez-Figueroa seems to be saying that we are killing our own children. Given the way climate change is starting to accelerate out of control, he may very well be right.

Is anything sacred? Just where are we going to raise our children? There is no planet B. How do we turn the messages shared by artists, the shamans or seers of our contemporary world, into action that makes a difference?

The exhibition is curated by Natalie Bell, Associate Curator.

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New Museum of Contemporary Art

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