“Saida, Asra” offers a reflection on the construction of subjectivity through performative acts. It focuses on a young girl dancing during a family event in Egypt. Employing a formal strategy of visual isolation her body language becomes accentuated, revealing the fluidity between self-awareness and self-absorption. In her performance, Saida appears to traverse the threshold between childhood and womanhood, awkwardly alternating from adult-like seductive gestures to childish jostling. By concentrating on the singularities of her movements, the work transcends its cultural specificity to question notions of girlhood, sexuality, and identity formation.
Graciela Fuentes, born in Monterrey , Mexico , and currently based in NYC, participated in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2005-06, after earning her MFA from New York University in 2005. Fuentes’ success has already been realized in the form of international exhibitions and awards. She is the recipient of a National Council for the Arts (CONACULTA) grant and recently received the Steinhardt School’s Samuel Eshborn Service Award. Fuentes’ video work has been screened in exhibitions in the United States, Mexico, Korea, Bolivia, Spain, Venezuela, France, Chile, Portugal, and Taiwan at venues including the Queens Museum of Art, Museo de Las Americas in Puerto Rico, Galeria Sala Maior in Portugal, Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, the Museum of Modern Art Mexico City, Exit Art in NYC, El Museo del Barrio in NYC, and the San Francisco Art Institute.