Joiri Minaya

My ideas are concerned with otherness, self-consciousness and displacement. I’ve made work inspired by women in my family, labor, dislocation, psychology, myth, art history, magic realism and symbols. I interrogate the way in which historical hierarchies inform and condition current identity constructions. I’m specifically interested in how these constructions manifest through the (mostly female) body: how they are received, internalized and then regurgitated by it.
Living in the United States after growing up in the Dominican Republic (and having lived in
Belgium for a while) has made me aware of my own difference and subjectivity depending on
context. This has made my work transition from being focused in identity constructions in a local and intimate manner (meditating on race and gender roles in relation to domesticity, family structure and my upbringing) to acknowledging wider landscapes, examining transnational and transcultural exchanges.
Iʼve started imagining myself through the lens of the perception of others and using this constant self-awareness as a point of departure to make art.
My current work focuses in the construction of the female subject in relation to nature in a
“tropical” context, shaped by a foreign Gaze that demands leisure and pleasure. Like nature,
femininity has been imagined and represented in multiple contexts throughout history as
idealized, tamed, conquered / colonized and exoticized.
Iʼm currently revising existing cultural
products that engage in this form of representation and incorporating them, critically, in my work.
My process is an ongoing exploration across media: a painting or sculpture might be a departing point or a key element in a subsequent video or a performance (or viceversa), and they might all be included in the final piece or develop independently. Performativity has gained an important
space in my practice: even when the work is not a performance, it usually entails an exploration
of performativity within representation. The constant in my work is the presence of the body and the interest in creating distinct power positions with it, often contradictory but operating simultaneously, creating complex forms of agency. The goal is to navigate binaries in search of in-betweenness, trying to both fulfill and sabotage expectations at once.