Sept. 22, 2022 - Mar. 4, 2023
Lizania Cruz: Performing InquiryALMA|LEWIS
Lizania Cruz: Performing Inquiry explores the artist’s investigation of the complex histories of the Caribbean, West Africa, and the United States, spanning Afro-religious practices, slavery, migration, colonialism, and nationhood.
For Performing Inquiry, Cruz examines national and personal archives alongside individual testimonies gathered from the public. This investigation, which Cruz sees as a criminal case, moves away from the colonial understanding of history as linear, and instead approaches it as a pluralist narrative that crosses the past, present, and future.
This exhibition focuses on the history of the peninsula of Samaná in Dominican Republic and its connection to the African diaspora via the United States. By using inquiry as a tool, a medium, and form through oral history, archival research, and the documentation of a staged performance of El Bamboulá — a dance and music originally from Africa that can be found in the Dominican Republic as well as in the originating history of Congo Square in New Orleans.
Lizania Cruz (she/her) is a Dominican participatory artist, and designer interested in how migration affects ways of being & belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience participation, she creates projects that highlight a pluralistic narrative on migration. Cruz has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at the Laundromat Project Create Change (2017-2019), Agora Collective Berlin (2018), Design Trust for Public Space (2018), Recess Session (2019), IdeasCity:New Museum (2019), Stoneleaf Retreat (2019), Robert Blackburn Workshop Studio Immersion Project (SIP) (2019), A.I.R. Gallery (2020-2021), BRIClab: Contemporary Art (2020-2021), Center for Book Arts (2020-2021), Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, Visual Arts (2021-2022), Artists Circle on Climate Displacement Fellowship, Institute of Othering and Belonging, Berkeley University (2021), Planet Texas 2050 Artist Resident — University of Texas (2022), and International Studio & Curatorial Program, ISCP (2022).
Her work has been exhibited at the Arlington Arts Center, BronxArtSpace, Project for Empty Space, Oolite Art Center, Jenkins Johnson Project Space, The August Wilson Center, Sharjah’s First Design Biennale, Untitled, Art Miami Beach, The Highline, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts among others. She has presented solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery and CUE Art Foundation. Most recently she was part of ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21 at el Museo del Barrio, the first national survey of Latinx artists by the institution. Furthermore, her artworks and installations have been featured in Hyperallergic, Fuse News, KQED arts, Dazed Magazine, Garage Magazine and the New York Times.