Since New York based artist Cecilia Mandrile left Argentina as a young woman, she has been “rehearsing the portrayal of impermanence.” As she moved from place to place, she began “performing and recording ephemeral installations, observing cities and their crevices through a portable reference: handmade dolls.” But her Quitapenas do not seem concerned about their non-belonging. Embracing fragility, these foldable paper dolls travel in a suitcase, open and close according to their new contexts. They fade, they age. Damaged as they are displaced from city to city, they may even disintegrate—and yet, they feel mended, when passing from hand to hand.
She writes, “Through the dual translation of visual fragments, I propose disjointed narratives that rehearse dialogues between ‘portable objects’ and ‘found places.’ Aware of the sense of ‘incompleteness’ experienced by displaced subjects, I document the constant flux of their imprint in moving scenarios, in search of a visual language that translates my perception of—and adaptation to—different realities as a migrant artist, a language that makes possible the translation of a wound.”
Cecilia Mandrile (Argentina, 1969) holds a PhD from the University of the West of England, an MFA from the University of Maryland and a BFA in Printmaking from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. She has exhibited widely in a number of prestigious venues throughout the world, including the Genaro Perez Museum, Córdoba, Argentina; WPA/Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; El Museo del Barrio, New York City and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. During the last few years, Mandrile has been a visiting artist at international residency programs including Gasworks Studios, London; Makan-Bait, Amman, Jordan; Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA and the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. She is the recipient of several fellowships, grants and awards. Her work is included in private and public collections around the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Casa de las Americas, Havana; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA and the City Museum of Art, Gyor, Hungary. Mandrile is a Lecturer of Art at the University of New Haven and has recently completed a Research Fellowship at the Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK.