Opening Celebrations & Sound Ceremony: Saturday, November 4, 2023
Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago, opens in Ballroom Marfa’s courtyard on Saturday, November 4, 2023 with a sound ceremony led by Maravilla and sound healers. Maravilla’s monumental sculpture incorporates natural materials, handmade objects, and items collected by the artist while retracing his migratory route to become shrines and healing instruments. Mariposa Relámpago includes metal gongs, functional instruments that are often featured in Maravilla’s work. The gongs are activated by the artist during public sound baths to deploy the powers of vibrational sound as a form of healing.
Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago will travel to venues across Texas through a partnership between organizations including Ballroom Marfa and The Contemporary Austin. The multi-year tour will begin with Ballroom Marfa on November 3, 2023, through March 30, 2024, and make its Austin appearance at the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria on April 4, 2024.
Guadalupe Maravilla (b. 1976) 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.
Ballroom Marfa’s presentation of Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago is organized by Daisy Nam, Executive Director and Curator; The Contemporary Austin presentation is organized by Alex Klein, Head Curator and Director of Curatorial Affair.
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. Support for Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago is provided by anonymous donors.
This exhibition is generously supported by Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees and International Surf Club; with support from Ruth Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, and City of Marfa.
Special thanks to International Surf Club Founders Rachel & Jeff Arnold; Louisa Stude Sarofim; Sara Carter; Eleanor Acquavella Dejoux; Christopher Hill & Lachlan Miles; and Alex Logsdail; as well as ICA Boston; Ruth Erickson; Garrett Gould; Alex Klein; The Contemporary Austin; Katherine Brodbeck; and Dallas Museum of Art.