UPDATE: Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the show has been postponed. It will not take place on Nov. 15. No date is set.
Living Portraits of Abstract Rituals, is the first solo exhibition by multi-media artist Christian Cruz. For one night only, Living Portraits of Abstract Rituals presents three installations, each activated by a performer for three hours on Sunday, November 15, 2020 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Using stillness as a framework for abstraction, the exhibition illustrates how ritualizing everyday moments gets transformed. While the activated installations serve as allegories for hard work, the only piece without a live performer is a video investigating non-labor. Masks are required . Only 10 persons will be allowed in the gallery at a time. Livestreaming will be available @tejanastories on IG. Cruz composes three new performance installations from older iterations dating as far back as 2013. She maintains the metaphorical concepts represented in each work such as romanticizing folding laundry, personifying the piñata then correlating it to a marginalized population, and acknowledging spiritual growth as an intergenerational obligation. Each new iteration has been adapted to this specific site by changing the choreography, sounds, smells and formal imagery to be in dialogue together as Living Portraits of Abstract Rituals at ex ovo. Cruz debuts I don’t dream of labor (2020), a video produced in collaboration with Sophia Haid. I don’t dream of labor serves as the accumulation of all three performance installations. The video represents a performer who, so to speak, is absent from the exhibition. I don’t dream of labor, suggests the artist is tired of working physically, emotionally, and mentally like the other live performers in the installations—so it’s time to do nothing. What does nothing look like? It can be daydreaming, waiting, meditating or watching…among many other things. Using personal archival footage, I don't dream of labor, displays how memory can be used as a tool for self preservation or tender care. It posits the radical ideology that doing “nothing” is just as demanding and valuable as laborious tasks.