The show is inspired by the concept of “domesticana,” first theorized by artist, scholar, and critic Amalia Mesa-Bains in the 1990s. Proposed as a Chicana feminist response to the male-dominated “rasquachismo,” domesticana shifts the defiant and expressive inventiveness of rasquache culture to the specific experience of working-class women. Drawing from Mesa-Bains’s own acknowledgement that all “terminologies must remain porous, sensibilities never completely named, and categories shattered,” DOMESTICANX expands the artists’s original Chicana and feminist theory through the sense of contemporary Latinx intersectionality.
The show encompasses paintings, textiles, ceramics, and installation – including a reconceived artwork by Mesa-Bains, first presented at El Museo del Barrio in 1995 – and features works by veteran artists Mesa-Bains, Nitza Tufiño and Maria Brito, alongside the first museum presentations by emerging artists Amarise Carreras, Cielo Félix-Hernández, Joel Gaitan, and Misla. Representing different backgrounds, genders, and generations, the seven artists presented in DOMESTICANX reflect sustained and continuing responses to Mesa-Bains’ exhortation to “undo the wounds of patriarchy and colonization.”
Image: courtesy of El Museo del Barrio