March 13, 2014

2014: Mandy Cano @ Cobalt Studio

Above: The artist Mandy Cano in Cobalt Studio during the opening reception for "Pure Blood" on March 8, 2014.
Mandy Cano
"Pure Blood"
March 8 - 26, 2014
Cobalt Studio
1950 W. 21st Street
Chicago, IL

2013 ACRE Summer Residency Exhibition

"Following the mass expulsion of Jews and Muslims during the late 1400s, Spain instituted laws of Limpieza de sangre. These laws distinguished the Jews and Muslims who had converted to Christianity from those who could trace their religious affiliation through family lineage. Having more to do with politics and ancestry than faith, Limpieza de sangre provided the grounds for extreme prejudice against those of 'unclean blood'. During the colonization of the Americas, the ideas behind Limpieza de sangre were transferred to a caste system that further built upon discrimination.

With these reconfigured shirts I examine the present-day manifestations of such views. Each shirt, given to me by a Latin American immigrant, was once worn for daily work. I have then unstitched and torn apart each shirt, re-forming it into a fragmented quilt. Referencing the uncleanliness Judaic and Muslim traditions have associated with pigs (and in turn, the pig’s redemptive connotations within a Christian tradition), I then soaked the piece-meal shrouds in pig’s blood. Questions arise. What is clean and un-clean? Who designates these definitions, and who lives by them? How have our cultural, ethnic and historical identities formed our current prejudices? And, in light of the influx of immigrants to the United States, who is asking these questions, and to whom?"
- Mandy Cano

Quotation above from:

Quotation above from:

Above:An installation view showing work shirts from Latin American immigrants, thread, pig's blood, and black-painted wood frames.
Above: John Salhus, left; Duk Ju L. Kim, center; Antonio Martinez, right;  opening reception for "Pure Blood" on March 8, 2014.
Above: A "Pure Blood" installation overview, in Cobalt Studio, on March 8, 2014.
Above: A detail of Mandy Cano's fiber work, in Cobalt Studio, on March 8, 2014.
Images (1-5) March 8, 2014;
Copyright Paul E. Germanos.

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