“Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors” presents sculptures, sound works, photographs and videos by the San Juan based artist. An artist, writer, and educator, she has been producing works for over 13 years based out of her native Caribbean island of Puerto Rico—a site known for its long colonial history with Spain and the United States. Santiago Muñoz is mostly known as a video artist, who uses the camera to propose alternative depictions of Caribbean environments, politics, and identity, bringing forth explorations that reinterpret the region’s history and current conditions. Borrowing from the strategies of performance, film, and anthropology, she focuses on indigenous cosmologies, post-military spaces, and syncretic religions. In her works, she poses philosophical questions about the nature and construction of being to reimagine complex social histories and post-colonial conditions. Curated by María Elena Ortiz, this is the first major museum exhibition of the artist in the US, including works that span almost a decade, as well as a new work Marché Salomon (2015).
A Universe of Fragile Mirrors is accompanied by a publication that gives further insight into the artist’s practice, honing in on central themes that have been guiding her practice for over a decade. It includes an introduction by the curator, which provides an art historical insight into the Santiago Munoz’s work, along with extended essays by geographer, Javier Arbona, and curator Francis McKee. Arbona examines the dynamics and history of spaces in Puerto Rico that were previously owned by the US military and how these are portrayed in the artist’s work. Arbona’s essay also discusses Santiago Muñoz’s role as an educator through her Walking Seminars. Mckee presents a reflection on the nature and style of anthropological texts, exploring ideas of ritual, cosmologies, and ethnography. Most importantly, the majority of the catalogue is composed of the artist’s writings and the scripts to her videos. Here, the artist reveals her processes through her film scripts and documents written in relation to her own artistic practice. This publication was designed by Tiguere, Corp., San Juan.