13 Wallis St
Montserrat College of Art and Montserrat Galleries would like to welcome the public to a free artist lecture by renowned contemporary artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30pm at Larcom Theatre in Beverly, MA followed by a public reception back on campus at 8pm where guests can view an exhibition of her art. The event is free but reservations are required by emailing [email protected]
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons’ work is autobiographical. “It encompasses a larger story. It reveals a history of survival- of a culture, a religion, and a people- from the oceanic voyage from Africa during the slave trade in the 18th century, to its aftermath in Cuba on the sugar plantations, to the present day in the United States. It is a felt history- not one of the rhetorical facts and figures told through non-spoken, fragmented narratives.” Campos-Pons’ work, although an expression of absence and loss, is a celebratory gesture toward a unique and resilient culture.
Her work is an investigation of history and memory, and their roles in the formation of identity. Born in Matanzas province in Cuba in 1959, Campos-Pons bears a familial history that is intermingled with the sugar industry’s presence in her hometown of La Vega. Her roots can be traced from America, to a Cuban homeland, to the enslaved who were traded by Spanish colonists and finally back to what is today Nigeria.
Her works have been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, France, Italy, and Cuba. She was represented in the Johannesburg Biennial and has had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Campos-Pons’ powerful attachment to her cultural African heritage is one that she has never experienced directly but its presence in the rites and myths of her childhood make her a Cuban transplanted in the United States, an exile twice over.
I am a sculptor, installation artist, videographer, and photographer. My work renders elements of personal history and persona that have universal relevance. I exploit a variety of photographic means, portraiture, landscape, and documentary photography. In an effort to create historical narratives that illuminate the spirit of people and places, past and present. My subjects are often my Afro-Cuban relatives as well as myself. My themes are cross cultural, and cross generational; race and gender expressed in symbols of matriarchy and maternity are thematic ideas. The salient tie to familiar and cultural history vastly expands for me the range of photographic possibilities.