If I Were A Poet
Cuban-born artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons addresses the unique and resilient nature of the Afro Cuban diaspora through photography, sculpture, performances, and video installations. Her West Coast debut and first exhibition with Gallery Wendi Norris, presents works ranging from 1990 to 2017, including three major installations, rare large-format Polaroid photographs, and a performance work.
Among the significant works in the exhibition are gridded variations of large-format Polaroid photographs depicting ancestral, totemic and futuristic themes ranging from the slave trade to migration. Polaroid manufactured only four large-format cameras and they have been used by very few artists, including Chuck Close, Gerhard Richter and William Wegman. The company ended production of the film in 2017 making existing works increasingly rare.
If I Were a Poet features several works from international museum exhibitions. Matanzas Sound Map, a sound and glass sculptural installation, debuted at Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece, and will be part of her upcoming retrospective at the National Museum of Fine Art in Havana in 2019. Another video and sound piece, Meanwhile the Girls were Playing, has been shown at the Frist Center at Vanderbilt, Spelman College, in Atlanta, and Smith College, in Northampton, MA.