The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This booklet for the exhibition Confluencias: Leandro Soto and Raoul Deal contains three texts: an interview with the artists by Linda Corbin-Pardee, an essay by Gregory Jay, and a short text by Awam Amkpa entitled “The Story of Oggun.” Jay mentions how the artists Soto and Deal began work on their joint performance and installation piece, Confluencias, when Deal sent a shoe last to Soto. From there, the two created a piece containing graphics, paintings, branches, wood blocks, shoe lasts, cheesecloth, storyboards, and video, commenting on themes of migration and diaspora, as well as on each others’ works. Jay notes that the two artists have been “ . . . collaborating for a decade on projects that utilize art to address issues of cultural identity.” Jay narrates the opening night performance and the installation piece and considers how the Yoruban deity Oggun [in command of quarrels, struggles and wars] represents a fable for the artists’ conflicts with diaspora and creation. In the interview with Corbin-Pardee, Soto and Deal speak about their collaborative process, their similarly bicultural experiences, and the importance of their time spent working, respectively, in Cuba and Mexico. In his text, Amkpa tells Oggun’s tale and explains why [as far as he became Saint George] he is the patron saint of artists and political activists.
These texts appeared in a catalogue for the exhibition Confluencias: Leandro Soto and Raoul Deal at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 2004. The catalogue texts were written to emphasize the lively and rich collaboration between Soto and Deal in that exhibition and include an interview, an essay on the artists’ creative process with the resulting performance and installation, and an essay on the Yoruba deity Oggun. Cuban-born Leandro Soto was among a group of young artists who experimented with conceptual art and installation during the early 1980s in Havana. Since the early 1990s—living and working in Mexico and later in the United States—Soto continued to pursue projects that emphasize performance and installation, and draw on non-Western religious and cultural traditions. Deal was born in Topeka, Kansas and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a BFA in painting. He received an MFA from Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and lived for a time there, in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco, before returning to the United States to live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
These texts document the show about migration and diaspora, and the artists’ self-identification as bicultural,and therefore address the research topic “Exile, Displacement, Diaspora.” (In this regard, see also doc. no. 840836.)