Leo Madriz (b.1987, Louisiana) creates installations of expanded cinema in which notions of home rub up against sociopolitical forces. Intimate exchanges with family and daily observations weave together with archival appropriation and filmic abstraction. Overlapping vignettes are projected onto installation structures, resulting in genre-blurring narrative that operates on multiple registers of time and voice, within and across boundaries—a form dually fit for tender reflections on intergenerational mobility and fervent contempt for The Dream.
Letters to Home, Pt. 1
Wood, Drywall, Door Hinges, Lock, Window Blinds, Hook, Dad’s Shirt, Plastic Tarp, Wallpaper, Paint, Plexiglass, Plant, Astro Turf, Drill, Level, Tape Measure, Photo, 2 Ch. Projection; Interior Video, Audio, 20m; Exterior Video 4m 35s
548.6 x 304.8 x 335.2 cm / 216 x 120 x 132 in
In Letters to Home, Pt. 1, two short films are projected onto the structure of a tiny house in simultaneous construction and collapse. The main film is cast onto the back wall of the home’s interior, which references the church of Solentiname, Nicaragua––a historic utopian site that was pivotal to the country’s revolutionary movement.
Leo Madriz, Letters to Home, Pt. 1, 2021 (video excerpt)
The film unfolds through “letters” addressed to family members back in Louisiana. Poetic narration and fragmented vignettes present the precarious nature of belonging and a disillusionment with the American Dream. On the exterior of the house, a short video loop presents the artist’s mother cooking a traditional Nicaraguan dish: a testament to intergenerational perseverance.
Wood, window blinds, CRTV, couch, false wall, single channel projection, 2-channel video and projection with audio; 6m 25s
246.38 x 467.36 x 254 cm / 97 x 184 x 100 in
This spring, the Hunter College MFA Program in Studio Art will graduate 26 artists who completed their degree over the challenging months of the COVID-19 pandemic. These talented MFA Thesis Candidates are exhibiting their work in six group exhibitions at 205 Hudson, in addition to this online spotlight hosted by Hauser & Wirth. At time when the public audience for in-person exhibitions has been limited by the pandemic, we are excited to provide this digital platform to the emerging artists from Hunter College’s MFA Program in Studio Art.
Images: Portrait of Leo Madriz. Photo: Nestor Perez-Moliere; Leo Madriz, Letters to Home, Pt. 1, 2021. Courtesy of the artist; Leo Madriz, Letters to Home, Pt. 1 (detail), 2021. Photo: Néstor Daniel Pérez-Molière; Behind the scenes image. Courtesy of the artist; Leo Madriz, Portals, 2019. Courtesy of the artist