Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek “Canon”

The Museum of Sex

poster for Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek “Canon”
[Image: Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek "Leyla" (2014) Archival inkjet print, 42x52 in., Edition of 6.]
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Ends in 51 days

The Museum of Sex (MoSEX) presents Canon (Virgenes de la Puerta, Padre Patria, Anda, Los Chicos), a multi-part series of photographs and sculptures by Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek. This is the first presentation of all four projects together in one exhibition, including the premiere of the video performance piece Anda.

Canon is both a celebration of the Peruvian LGBTQ community and a call to action against the relentless violence it faces in a society where bearing witness to a public beating of a transgender woman, and the subsequent inaction of bystanders, is an all too frequent occurrence. In an effort to respond, Peruvian artist Barboza-Gubo and American artist Mroczek began to work together in 2013 to shine a light on these social atrocities, while at the same time celebrating the resilience, power, and beauty of their subjects.

The series began with Virgenes de la Puerta (Virgins of the Door), a photography series that reimagines transgender women as historical and religious icons inspired by Spanish colonial painting and 19th-century vernacular photography, such as the iconic religious imagery of Santa Rosa de Lima or the Tapada Limeña. The project plays off the religious “canon” law that all too often targets and excludes LGBTQ voices, as well as the often genuine spiritual beliefs of LGBTQ Peruvians who identify with their country’s rich religious heritage. Barboza-Gubo and Mroczek then turned to Los Chicos (The Boys), documenting an emerging community of openly gay men in Peru and the role they are playing in the country’s cultural fabric. Finally, a third photo series, Padre Patria (Fatherland), was born from a desire to document the erasure of those lives. Drawing from over four years of research and collaborative study with their subjects, the artists aim to bring this body of work to a wider global audience. “We need to begin to examine just how the ‘fatherland’ has been destroying our ‘mother-land.’ The patriarchy needs to be held accountable for the often brutal reality that LGBTQ people live and die in, here in Peru and around the world,” says Barboza-Gubo.

The exhibition at Museum of Sex will offer an immersive experience to match the intimate and vibrant portraits. Challenging the idea of what is normal, the haunting images reveal the Peruvian LGBTQ community’s ongoing struggle for survival against all odds, despite being denied such basic human rights as protection from violence, education and healthcare. “Some of the images in the series feel confrontational and that was certainly intentional…It creates an equal playing field between the viewer and the work…navigating a line between confrontation and persecution,” Mroczek states.

This presentation is the first bilingual exhibition to be shown at the Museum of Sex. The program is made possible by the museum’s curator Lissa Rivera, who has followed the progression of the project since its inception. “The Museum of Sex has an international audience, and I hope that an exhibition like Canon can help create a sense of allegiance and connection between countries and cultures, rather than one of difference, in the fight for basic human rights for people of all genders and sexual orientations. The obvious strength, courage, and beauty of the subjects of Barboza-Gubo and Mroczek’s photographs demand our attention.” Lissa Rivera, Associate Curator of the Museum of Sex

highlights include:

Virgenes de la Puerta (Virgins of the Door)
The series Virgenes de la Puerta focuses on the transgender women of Lima, Peru who continue to be cast aside by the political and religious administrations for well over 500 years. They are consistently denied employment, assistance from government programs, both state and government-issued forms of identification, and are granted limited access to basic medical resources. They live burdened under the hostile atmosphere created by the agenda of the Church and the politicians who rule the patriarchy with antiquated concepts of masculinity and machismo.

Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek honor the diversity of the Peruvian culture by re-incorporating these women into the cultural landscape and history of Peru. In direct contrast to their oppressor’s intentions, the work celebrates transgender women and presents them as relevant iconic figures within the context of their native land. Influenced by 19th-Century Colonial painting, this series of portraits and tableaux incorporate cultural and religious iconography in an effort to pay homage to the resilience and beauty of these women to strengthen, empower, and embed a sense of pride within the current and future generations of Peru’s LGBTQ community.

La serie Vírgenes de la Puerta se centra en las mujeres transgénero de Lima, que siguen siendo dejadas de lado por las administraciones políticas y religiosas. Se les niega sistemáticamente el empleo, la asistencia de los programas del gobierno, y no se les da ninguna forma de identificación estatal o emitida por el gobierno; en esencia, ellas están siendo marginadas y borradas de la sociedad.

Honramos la diversidad de la cultura peruana por la reincorporación de estas mujeres transgénero en el paisaje cultural y la historia del Perú. En contraste directo con las intenciones de su opresor, la obra celebra las contribuciones de las personas transgénero y las presenta como figuras icónicas en el contexto de su tierra natal. Esta serie de retratos rinde homenaje a la resistencia y la belleza de estas mujeres en un esfuerzo por fortalecer, capacitar e incrustar un sentido de orgullo dentro de las generaciones actuales y futuras de la comunidad LGBTQ de Perú.


Los Chicos (The Boys)
The subjects in the series Los Chicos represent an important, emerging, community within Peru’s culture. Defying patriarchal machismo and the antiquated social mores of masculinity, these young gay men have exhibited tremendous courage and tenacity by allowing themselves to be seen, publicly, as a thriving community within a slowly changing environment of acceptance. This increase in visibility has contributed to an empowered vocalization for equal rights within Peru’s LGBTQ communities; specifically, in 2014, the demand for recognized civil unions had become an official component of Peru’s political discussions—a groundbreaking event and a clear first step toward equality.

And yet, as Lima remains a classist society, the members of the “upper” classes—particularly those established by social rank, or those embracing the obligatory silence demanded by a social standing through familial lineage—maintain a far less public presence. In contrast, and through grassroots efforts, positive changes within the LGBTQ community are primarily introduced by the youth from the supposed “lower” classes who are consistently becoming more visible.

The boys have been photographed within one of Peru’s hidden manses: a home once lavish and regal, now left nearly neglected, it stands within one of Lima’s most revered communities surrounded by pockets of new construction, high-rises, and tourist destinations. It remains a reminder of Peru’s magnificence and cultural significance as well as its dysfunctional concepts of class and social rank.

El tema en la serie “Los Chicos” represente una comunidad emergente e importante dentro de la cultura del Perú. Desafiando el machismo patriarcal y las costumbres sociales anticuadas de la masculinidad. Estos jóvenes gays han mostrado un tremendo coraje y tenacidad al dejarse ver públicamente, como una comunidad próspera dentro de un entorno de aceptación que cambia lentamente. Este aumento de la visibilidad ha contribuido a una poderosa vocalización por la igualdad de derechos de las comunidades LGBT de Perú; en concreto, en el año 2014, la demanda de las uniones civiles se había convertido en un component oficial de los debates políticos, un evento innovador de Perú y un claro primer paso hacia la igualdad.

Pero sin embargo, como Lima sigue siendo una sociedad clasista, los miembros de las clases-particularmente “superiores” a los establecidos por el rango social, o aquellos que abrazan el silencio obligatorio exigido por una posición social a través del linaje familiar, mantienen una presencia mucho menos pública. Por el contrario, los cambios positivos dentro de la comunidad LGBTQ se introducen principalmente por los jóvenes de las supuestas clases “inferiores” que se están convirtiendo constantemente en grupos más visible.

Los chicos han sido fotografiados en una de mansiones ocultas del Perú: una casa una vez lujosa, ahora muy descuidada, se encuentra dentro de una de las comunidades de mas orgullo de Lima, rodeada de nueva construcción, rascacielos, y de destinos turísticos. Esta sigue siendo un recordatorio de la magnificencia y importancia cultural del Perú, así como sus conceptos disfuncionales de clase y rango social.


Padre Patria (Fatherland) *Video
The images in Fatherland reveal the Peruvian landscape as spaces of evidence within the extreme, and rather common, circumstances of violent hate-crimes toward the LGBTQ community, which include rape and murder, as well as domestic violence. While Peru’s landscape is often celebrated for its diverse climates and rich cultural history, it also bears the scars of a violence born from patriarchal methodology and an intolerance that permeates its rural neighborhoods, farmlands, public parks, and urban districts. The captions in the video indicate the name of the victim and the nature of the assault.

Las imágenes de Fatherland (Padre Patria) revelan el paisaje peruano como evidencias dentro de las circunstancias extremas de los crímenes de odio violentos hacia la comunidad LGBTQ (suceso comun en el Peru), que incluyen violaciónes y asesinatos, así como la violencia doméstica. Mientras que el paisaje peruano es célebre por sus diversos climas y rica historia cultural, este proyecto también descubre las cicatrices de una violencia que nace de la metodología patriarcal y una intolerancia que permea sus barrios rurales, granjas, parques públicos, y los distritos urbanos.


Crowns and Virgin’s Cape *Sculpture and Textile
Barboza-Gubo & Mroczek worked with local artisans in the design and production of objects used in the images, including silver and gold crowns, a 25-foot hand-crocheted veil which is comprised of hundreds of embroidered flowers made by women in Ayacucho, a city known for its exquisite needlework. “We wanted the women to be surrounded by everything that makes this country so unique and beautiful,” said Barboza-Gubo.

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About the Artists
http://www.barbozagubo-mroczek.com/

Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo (Peru, 1976) received his Bachelor’s Degree at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. He has received two MFA degrees, one in Painting and one in Sculpture, both from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has had numerous exhibitions in the US, including shows at the Nielsen Gallery; The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University; Chazan Gallery, Providence; The Fitchburg Museum; the Attleboro Museum; and the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. His work has been featured internationally in galleries and museums in Tokyo, Athens, and Italy, as well as Galeria Impakto of Lima, Peru. Recent awards of note include first prizes in the 2008 Ceramic Biennial of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and in 2014, the 78th Regional Exhibition at the Fitchburg Museum. Barboza-Gubo was also named the 2014 Breakout Artist of the Year from Artscope Magazine. He was awarded the 2015 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting, the 2016 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture and 2017 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Photography. Barboza-Gubo currently teaches at Rhode Island College.

Andrew Mroczek (USA, 1977) received his BFA in photography from The Art Institute of Boston. He is currently the Associate Director of Exhibitions at The Lesley University College of Art and Design. He has curated solo exhibitions of many artists of note, including; Shen Wei, Dan Estabrook, Luba Lukova, Karen Moss, Robert Stivers, Maud Morgan, Marilene Phipps-Kettlewell, and Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo. Recent curated exhibitions include: Visible Soul (2014) an exhibition featuring works by Louise Bourgeois, Carolee Schneemann, Kiki Smith, Arne Svenson, Louis Wain, Andy Warhol, Edward Weston, and many others; and Of CubanInvention (2012), highlighting works by Carlos Cárdenas, Carlos Estévez, Manuel Mendive, José Garcia Montebravo, Luis “El Estudiante” Rodríguez, and Zaida del Río. Mroczek is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Camera Eye Workshops, Somerville, MA; and The Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA.

Media

Schedule

from October 20, 2017 to January 15, 2018

Website

http://museum.museumofsex.com/ (venue's website)

Fee

Adults $17.50, Students and Seniors $15.25

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:30
saturdays opening at 20:00

Access

Address: 233 5th Ave., New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-689-6337 ×113

Corner of 27th St., Subway: R/W 28th Street

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