Awardee: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Visual Arts, 2015

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She works in moving image with particular attention to social structures and their relationship to aesthetics. Her works arise out of long periods of research, observation and documentation, in which the camera is present as an object with social implications and as an instrument mediating aesthetic thought. Subjects of her recent work have been politically fraught: an artist accused of terrorism, post-military land, mega-factories, the relationship between art work and work, and a concrete poet/union leader. Her film and video work is always in between the performance and its document, and sometimes unfolds into a double existence. Her work has been shown at the Tate Modern, Wattis Institute/CCA, Galería Kurimanzutto and the Guggenheim Museum. She recently completed projects commissioned by Glasgow International and the Bienal do Mercosul in Brazil, presented solo exhibitions in Gasworks and Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, and held artist residencies at Transmission (Glasgow) and IASPIS (Stockholm).

Project: Verano de Mujeres (Summer of Women)

Verano de Mujeres (Summer of Women) is a feature-length experimental film that presents a feminist ethno-fiction, a vision of the future built from the lives of a group of extraordinary women and a geography commonly thought of as marginal. The women Santiago Muñoz works with are real: a goat farmer, a painter, a glamorous queer musician, a teacher. The women breastfeed, milk goats, talk about sex, rear children, sing to a cult following, struggle with organizing other women, cry when they think of the work set out for them and strain to listen to the world in a different way. But there is another layer to the film that is a speculative imaginary ethnography—an ethnography of what is possible to imagine collectively.