She Works Flexible is proud to present Ell Nauahl esta aqui/Babaroga je dosla/ (the Boogeyman is here) on view from September 18, 2015 through November 7th, 2015, with an opening reception on Friday, September 18 from 7.00–9.00pm.
Ell Nauahl esta aqui/Babaroga je dosla/ (the Boogeyman is here) is a show about monsters; primarily how the monsters of fear and violence make a home in the body. The boogeyman; a culturally fluid figure uses its threatening specter to infect children with fear and thus subjugates their behavior accordingly and stands here as a metaphor for the palpable transgenerational trauma that is writ large across both the personal and political bodies of marginalized communities.
Luz María Sánchez*
Luz María Sánchez explores the ongoing psychological and physical violence experienced by the Mexican people as a result of unrelenting drug crime and the political failings of Mexico as a viable nation state. She invites us to bear witness to this violence by immersing us in a projection of 15,000 graphic manipulations of these images, being of heinous crimes and images culled from the Mexican media. By projecting these 15,000 images on a non-stop loop and on an epic scale Sánchez, overwhelming our senses by her attention to volume, at once disarms and implicates us in both these images creation and their agency; how they move through the world and to what end? As Sánchez says, “All of us are, either as transmitters or as receivers, building this texture of violence.” A limited edition of three large silkscreen prints featuring images from the projection accompanies the installation.
* Arts Member of the National System of Art Creators
Sound and visual artist, Luz Maria Sánchez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico where she studied both music and literature. Through the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Sánchez has focused on the role of sound in art since its inception in the 19th century through its evolution as an independent art practice in the 20th century. Within these studies, Sánchez places emphasis on radiophonic art and examines in her thesis the radio plays of Samuel Beckett, linking them to the sound practices that emerged in the mid-20th century.
As an academic, Sánchez has continued her research in technologized sound, therefore recently she was part of the conference Mapping Sound and Urban Space in the Americas at Cornell University, and in 2015 her book “Technological Epiphanies: Samuel Beckett’s Use of Audiovisual Machines” will be published.
Working with both sound and moving images, Sánchez’s pieces are arranged to envelop the subject in a sensorial experience while preserving a feeling of physical immediacy. Her work moves in the political sphere, working with themes like the Mexican diaspora, violence in the Americas, and the failure of the Nation-State.
The stain that trauma leaves on the body and how it bleeds into subsequent generations psyches is the dark material from which Maja Ruznic crafts her monstrously beautiful paintings. Hinting at folklore and sexuality Ruznic’s new body of work possess a psychological intimacy and phantasmagoric quality enhanced by her deft hand. Ruznic allows the watercolor, inks and oils she employs to have their way with the paper, and after creating these promiscuous marks she works with them in conjuring whole worlds in jewel like detail and hue. These worlds, exquisitely beautiful as they are, reverberate with pain, specifically the legacy of the Bosnian war as it was fought upon the battleground of women’s bodies. The narrative they seek to contain, that this trauma fades over time, becomes destabilized and threatened by Ruznic’s embedding of dark foreboding figures that appear phantom-like and act as a reminder that these things do not live in the past for the woman and children directly involved, that for them nothing is past tense. This pain lives with them in the body, passed from one generation to the next. So that when girls are stolen and raped by Isis or Boko Haram, dragged off into the forest never to return, they and we know that the Boogeyman is not just coming but is already here. In fact, he never went away.
In addition to these new works we will be showing a series of films in conjunction with the exhibition and curated with the artists as part of our ongoing series; Flex Film. These films will include but are not limited to; Dancer in the Dark by Lars Von Trier and El infierno by Luis Estrada. Please check our website for dates and times. http://www.sheworksflexible.com/
Maja Ruznic was born in Bosnia and Hercegovina in 1983 and came to the United States as a refugee in 1992. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Ruznic studied Psychology and Art at UC Berkeley and received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2009. Her paintings, drawings and performances explore memory, trauma, and sexuality.
Ruznic has exhibited in Germany, France, Texas, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her painting "The Mother of All Evil" was featured on the cover of New American Paintings in 2011 (Pacific Coast Section, Number 97). Ruznic’s work is included in the Jiminez-Colon Collection (Puerto Rico) and was recently featured in JUXTAPOZ magazine.