Dora García: Rezos/Prayers Miami
Dora García: Rezos/Prayers Miami, an innovative audio work, focuses the Spanish artist’s performative practice onto a day in the life of Miami. Commissioned by MOAD, Rezos/Prayers Miami makes personal and specific experiences into collective and universal invocations.
For the Miami iteration of the Spanish artist’s ongoing project, first enacted in Madrid in 2007, eleven individuals, placed in various locations or public transit routes around the city, recorded forty-five-minute narrations of their observations, noting both every day and unexpected details. These recordings of “incessant description, recited like a prayer,” posted online as digital audio files, constitute an archive of sorts, a collection of subjective interpretations that document a particular place at a particular time. They constitute a permanent record of our city right now—vibrant, diverse, quirky, alternately bustling or languorous—as seen through the eyes and voices of keenly observant individuals who love Miami and its multifaceted realities. Rezos/Prayers Miami is a polyvocal litany of the present offered up to the future.
At the end of 2019, the artist sent eleven Miami residents out into the city with audio recording devices. These participants—Marivi Véliz, Celeste Landeros, Dainerys Machado, Pedro Medina León, Samantha Phillips, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, Angela Valella, Marcos Valella, Hernán Vera Álvarez, Gladys Hernando, and Larry Villanueva—include writers, professors, graduate students, artists, and actors, who narrated what they saw and heard in both English and Spanish. In the artist’s words, the “recited descriptions are as much of people, situations, attitudes, events, as of buildings, structures, itineraries, activities, routines, objects, atmospheres, circumstances, sounds, smells, including also the impressions, deductions, and intuitions of the describing or narrating subject.” The recordings that make up the Miami version of Rezos/Prayers are online at the artist’s website, http://doragarcia.org/rezos/miami/.
Born in 1965 in Valladolid, Spain, Dora García studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She uses a range of media including performance, video, text, and installation. Her practice investigates the conditions that shape the encounter between the artist, the artwork, and the viewer. García’s works often involve staging unscripted scenarios that elicit doubt as to the fictional or spontaneous nature of a given situation. They predetermine set rules of engagement or utilize recording devices to frame both conscious and unconscious forms of spectator participation. García’s work also explores the political potential rooted in marginal positions: namely the figures of the outsider, the outcast and the outlaw, paying homage through several works to eccentric and often anti-heroic personas. The artist has exhibited around the world and was included in Münster Sculpture Projects in 2007; Documenta in 2012; There is always a cup of sea to sail in at the São Paulo Biennial in 2010; and represented Spain in the 2011 Venice Bienale. In 2020, the first United States survey of her work will be presented by the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Dora García: Rezos/Prayers is organized by MOAD and curated by Rina Carvajal as part of the series A City of the People. It is made possible by the generous support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.