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Awardee: Ligia Bouton

Performing Arts, 2016

Ligia Bouton was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent her childhood in London, England.  She received her education at Vassar College and at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Her creative work combines sculpture with performance, digital video and photography to recreate appropriated narratives. Each project wrestles with the intersection of functionality and narrative, drawing on sources from art history, literature and science. Recent projects have been shown at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Guildhall Art Gallery in London, SITE Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Reviews of her work have appeared in Art in America, Art Papers, The Art Newspaper, The Philadelphia Enquirer and The New York Times. Ligia Bouton is currently Associate Professor of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico.

http://ligiabouton.com

Project: Inheritance

Inheritance is a chamber opera designed for a lead soprano plus three female voices and a chamber ensemble. This opera’s production will be housed within a multimedia environment that examines gun culture in America through the lens of Sarah Winchester’s life. According to popular belief, Winchester was an eccentric widow self-imprisoned in her labyrinth-like home and seeking refuge from the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. The legend surrounding her life, impossible to extract from her actual history, is indicative of America’s inability to separate fact and fiction within gun-debate discourse. Although the libretto for Inheritance is anchored in Winchester’s biography, this work explores her life and home as a metaphor for America’s violent legacy and deeply complex relationship with guns.