MFA Alum Joiri Minaya Exhibits Solo Show at Baxter St CCNY

I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift

Opening Wednesday March 18, 6-8 pm
On view March 18 – April 25, 2020

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York
126 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013

I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift, curated by Corrine Y. Gordon, examines the construction of the female subject in relation to landscape, looking particularly at “tropical” environments. The exhibition features new works from Joiri Minaya’s ongoing Containers series initiated in 2015, where the artist takes photographs of women wearing custom head-to-toe printed bodysuits that mimic tropical flora and poses them in seemingly natural environments that have been altered by man. The original series stemmed from a Google search of “Dominican Women,” where Minaya found specific poses repeated throughout her findings and appropriated these poses through the structure of the bodysuits, forcing the performer to adopt the pose. By doing this, she looks to the parallels drawn between nature and femininity, as both have been imagined and represented throughout history as idealized, tamed, conquered, and exoticized entities.

The title I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift aims to establish a relationship between the viewer and the work, drawing attention to the performative nature of her subjects and the audience’s position as an active observer. It is also a line pulled from one of the original scripts Minaya wrote when she started to experiment with the series beyond photography. She converted the images into a performance, incorporating voice recordings and written text that were strategically paired to the location and bodysuits. As the series continues to be reimagined through new mediums, this exhibition will be the first to present collage alongside her continued photographs, video, and text. More info here.