Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Maria José Arjona: You Are Splendid! at Kunsthalle Osnabrück

28 Jan 2016

Maria José Arjona,the inaugural artist to show at Ballroom Marfa in October of 2003, will open an exhibition,performance and workshop project at Kunsthalle Osnabrück on January 31, 2016. You Are Splendid! “is a process that continues until the end of the exhibition on Easter Sunday.”


Arjona’s project at Ballroom, Vault, in her own words:

Vault is a space transformed by the motion of a body. It is a process of meditation where drawing is the basic tool to address evolution, simplicity and life. The piece contemplates the cycles of matter and its deconstruction in order to create again.”
–Maria Jose Arjona

Read more about the project in our archive.

Maria José Arjona: Second messenger, 2015
Photo: Lisa Palomino
Courtesy: The artist and Flora-arsnatura

You Are Splendid!
An exhibition, performance and workshop project by Maria José Arjona
31 January – 28 March 2016
Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Two swings float through the former nave of Kunsthalle. A nest of cotton, shadow play of a corkscrew hazel, bird calls and a performance artist in plumage who is drawing with tobacco:You Are Splendid is the outcome of a research project lasting more than two years, which the Columbian artist Maria José Arjona dedicated to the world of birds in her home country. This work bears autobiographical elements in that Arjona began her observations of migratory birds while she was living in New York, the most northerly point of the hemisphere the artist from the equatorial region has ever lived.

The project began after an encounter with a birdwatcher in Central Park, who reminded the artist that she was not the only one from the tropical rain forest roaming almost invisibly through the streets of New York: migratory birds share a common route along the north-south axis of the two “Americas” with thousands of Latin American migrants – similar to the paths followed by the migratory birds of Europe and the guest and migrant workers from Africa and Southern Europe.

For someone who grew up with the magic realism of Latin American literature, the poetic parallels between birds and migrants are obvious: Maria José Arjona transposes her personal history and those of all the people who roam through foreign countries, climate zones and cultures, into images and drawings, objects, sounds and melodies, videos, performances and installations; they are certain to open up a new perspective onto the world for Kunsthalle visitors, to habituate the ear to so much that is overheard, and to share the small and great miracles, but sometimes the terrors and anxiety of contemporary migration movements.

You Are Splendid! is a process that continues until the end of the exhibition on Easter Monday. Maria José Arjona ceaselessly reconstructs and reinstalls, configures new interrelations, in which she presents a different performance each weekend in February. Visitors and other artists are from time to time invited to co-create, co-conceive and co-experience.

For the full schedule of performances, visit Kunsthalle Osnabrück