Laura Anderson Barbata in collaboration with Los Zancudos de Zaachila and the Brooklyn Jumbies, Performance for San Pedro festivities (detail), 2011, Zaachila, Oaxaca, Courtesy of the artist
January 16–April 10, 2016

Transcommunality: Laura Anderson Barbata, Collaboration Beyond Borders

This exhibition documents the work of Mexican-born, New York-based artist Laura Anderson Barbata and her decade-long project with stilt-walking communities in Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Brooklyn. Her project highlights the vitality of the moko jumbie stilt walking tradition and demonstrates the possibility of using this storied art form as a platform for social contemporary performance, group participation, and protest. Spanning from 13 feet tall to just 11 inches small, the works presented in the exhibition range from textile-based to sculptural objects, as well as photographs, videos, and projections that document the collaborative projects.

Laura Anderson Barbata is known for her participatory, collaborative art, often involving partnerships with local artisans. The relationships forged with collaborators and the cultural exchanges that take place are the most important components for the artist. Transcommunality encompasses community art, public art, social intervention, performance, and sculpture, focusing on an artist who has dedicated her practice to confronting the hierarchies of so-called “fine art” and popular art, craft and folk traditions.

Transcommunality: Laura Anderson Barbata, Collaboration Beyond Borders has previously been presented at the Centro de las Artes de Nuevo León, Monterrey; Museo de la Ciudad de México, México, D.F.; and Museo Textil de Oaxaca, México; BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Click here to view Laura Anderson Barbata's insights on her work in this exhibition.

Click here to view a community performance at The Cornell Fine Arts Museum with Laura Anderson Barbata and the Brooklyn Jumbies.


Laura Anderson Barbata, Queen Nyame, 2005–2007, Cotton fabric, wood, cane, fiberglass rods, mesh, decorative trim, mirrors, cardboard, paper mâché and paint, Photo: Stefan Hagen. Courtesy of the artist
Laura Anderson Barbata, Transcommunality with Keylemanjahro Moko Jumbies, Trinidad and Tobago (detail), 2005, Photo by Stefan Falke

Related Programming

Laura Anderson Barbata and the Brooklyn Jumbies Performance
Thursday, February 18, 2016
5:30 p.m.
In front of the museum to the back patio

Artist Talk with Laura Anderson Barbata
Thursday, February 18, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum Clive gallery

CFAMily Day:  Inspired by the Art of Laura Anderson Barbata
Saturday, February 20, 2016
1–5 p.m.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum and patio area
Laura Anderson Barbata and the Brooklyn Jumbies perform at 1:30!

Exhibition Tour
Friday, March 18, 2016
11 a.m.
Curator Amy Galpin
Cornell Fine Arts Museum

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