Mariposa Relámpago, 2023
Friday, March 15
Join Ballroom Marfa and Guadalupe Maravilla for a film screening of Mariposa Relámpago on Friday, March 15, 2024. The screening will begin at 8pm in Ballroom’s courtyard, following a brief introduction to the film by Daisy Nam and Guadalupe Maravilla. This event is free and open to all.
The film Mariposa Relámpago narrates the mythology and spiritual journey around Guadalupe Maravilla’s largest sculpture to date. The film follows the sculpture’s process of transformation from a school bus, to a healing instrument; featuring the bus’ migration across multiple international borders, its blessing inside of a volcano, the FBI’s involvement, and its future described by a Tarot card reader.
Also on view in the courtyard is Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago. Maravilla’s installation is on view at Ballroom Marfa through March 16, 2024. The artist will lead an hour-long public sound bath with sound healers on Saturday, March 16, activating Mariposa Relámpago (Lightning Butterfly), a vibrational healing instrument and sculpture. Audiences are invited to enter the bus, sit in the courtyard, and gather around the installation as Maravilla and the healers play the gongs.
Maravilla (b. 1976 in San Salvador, El Salvador) grounds his sculpture, painting, performance, and large-scale installation in activism and healing, informed by his personal story of migration, illness, and recovery. At the age of eight, Maravilla fled El Salvador’s civil war as an unaccompanied minor and made a perilous journey through Central America to reunite with family in the United States. In the 2010s, Maravilla was diagnosed with colon cancer—an illness he links to generational trauma and the stresses of being undocumented—and during the recovery process, he was introduced to ancient methods of healing, including the use of sound. Mariposa Relámpago functions as a sculpture, shrine and healing instrument.
Guadalupe Maravilla (b. 1976 in San Salvador, El Salvador) is a transdisciplinary visual artist, choreographer, and healer. At the age of eight, Maravilla was part of the first wave of unaccompanied, undocumented children to arrive at the United States border in the 1980s as a result of the Salvadoran Civil War. In 2006, Maravilla became a U.S. citizen. In 2016, he adopted the name Guadalupe Maravilla in solidarity with his undocumented father, who uses Maravilla as his last name. As an acknowledgment to his past, Maravilla grounds his practice in the historical and contemporary contexts belonging to the undocumented and cancer communities.
Combining pre-colonial Central American ancestry, personal mythology, and collaborative performative acts, Maravilla’s performances, objects, and drawings trace the history of his own displacement and that of others. Culling the entangled fictional and autobiographical genealogies of border crossing accounts, Maravilla nurtures collective narratives of trauma into celebrations of perseverance and humanity. Across all media, Maravilla explores how the systemic abuse of immigrants physically manifests in the body, reflecting on his own battle with cancer, which began in his gut. Maravilla’s large-scale sculptures, titled Disease Throwers, function as headdresses, instruments, and shrines through the incorporation of materials collected from sites across Central America, anatomical models, and sonic instruments such as conch shells and gongs. These Disease Throwers ultimately serve as symbols of renewal, generating therapeutic, vibrational sound.
Maravilla currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Additionally, he has performed and presented his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Queens Museum, New York; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museum of Art of El Salvador, San Salvador; X Central American Biennial, Costa Rica; New York; Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, New York; and the Drawing Center, New York, among others.
Awards and fellowships include; The 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, LatinX Fellowship 2021, Lise Wilhelmsen Art award 2021, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map fund 2019, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Franklin Furnace 2018, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, Art Matters Grant 2013, Art Matters Fellowship 2017, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship 2018, Dedalus Foundation Grant 2013 and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Award 2003. Residencies include; LMCC Workspace, SOMA, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Drawing Center Open Sessions. Maravilla has been featured in the NY Times, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn Rail, the Guardian, Art Forum and many other publications.
Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago is commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and organized by Ruth Erickson, Barbara Lee Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.
Mariposa Relámpago will travel to venues across Texas through a partnership between organizations including Ballroom Marfa and The Contemporary Austin. Ballroom Marfa’s presentation is organized by Daisy Nam, Alexann Susholtz, Sarah Melendez. The Contemporary Austin presentation is organized by Alex Klein, Head Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs.
Generous support from Ruth Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Marfa, Suzanne Deal Booth, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Lebermann Foundation; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and International Surf Club Founding Members.
Special thanks to Mariana Parisca; Ruth Erickson, Garrett Gould; sharon maidenberg, Alex Klein; Ella Blanchon, Corey Durbin, P.P.O.W Gallery.