CLOSEUP, Mônica Nador, Project at Maclovio Rojas, inSITE2000

Brazilian artist Mônica Nador began her project for inSITE2000 with a two-month residency in the community of Maclovio Rojas in Tijuana. Challenging traditional notions of the role of the artist and audience, Nador worked with ten families in the community to implement a collaborative form of decoration for the exterior of their homes. Encouraging each family to identify ancestral signs, symbols, and other imagery associated with their regional and cultural heritage, Nador and a small team of assistant artists began a process of creating stencils to be used in decorating the houses. Working in the community for approximately six months, the artist’s motivation that “ beauty is good for mental and spiritual health” resulted in brightly painted and decorated houses that residents in the entire community saw as unifying and adding visual wealth that could be shared by all. A video documenting Acción en Maclovio Rojas/Project at Maclovio Rojas was produced as part of the project.

“I would like to spend two months in Maclovio Rojas to create a piece with its residents. The project will consist of painting murals whose owners want to participate in this project, on walls of their houses.
The subjects for these paintings will come from a drawing workshop with the residents of Maclovio Rojas. During this workshop, I will work to educe from participants ancestral signs, symbols and imagery associated with their heritage. These images will most likely be connected to the architectural ornamentation related to their origins.” –Mônica Nador (proposal).

“The project questions the traditional divisions between artist and public. Therefore, to obtain real results, Mônica Nador will live in that community for two months, giving workshops at the Community Center. As a result of this process, several templates have been created by the families to decorate their houses in bright colors. This project aims to enrich cultural life and strengthen community pride through interior and exterior ornamentation." - Sánchez, Jeanette. “Mejoran Maclovio Rojas.” Frontera, 18 May 2000.

“The artist uses as a reference the thoughts by some left-wing contemporary art theoreticians who ask themselves about the importance of returning the working class their own symbolic images to express themselves.” – Rivemar de Perrín, Guadalupe. “Familias de Maclovio Rojas estimuladas por el arte de Mônica Nador.” El Mexicano, 23 November 2000.

“Sao Paulo artist Mônica Nador, working with local artist Lupita Guerrero, spent time with 10 willing families in Tijuana’s Maclovio Rojas community. They explored the roots of each, ancestors and heritage, while looking to find symbols and signs representing both. Then working with each family, they decorated homes, inside and out.” – Pincus, Robert L. “inSITE for sore eyes.” San Diego Union-Tribune, 12-18 October 2000.

Mônica Nador is a visual artist with a Fine Arts degree from FAAP (Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation) São Paulo. Her earliest work dates from the 1980s. She earned a master’s degree from ECA/USP for her paper "Paredes Pinturas" (Walls Paintings) under the supervision of Regina Silveira. In 2003, Mônica Nador founded Jardim Miriam Arte Clube (JAMAC) in São Paulo’s Jardim Miriam district, where she lives. JAMAC is a community center that promotes lectures, workshops, activities and exhibitions among community residents, aiming at the development of both cultural and political awareness.

Mônica’s major exhibitions include the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1993 and 2006; the 2000 Havana Biennial, in Cuba; the 2004 Biennale of Sydney, in Australia; in 2011, “Mônica Nador & Jamac - Autoria Compartilhada”, in Pavilhão das Culturas Brasileiras (São Paulo, Brazil); the 2012 Guangzhou Biennial, in Korea; in 2015, “Mônica Nador + Jamac + Paço Comunidade”, in Paço das Artes (São Paulo, Brazil) and the 2015 Lubumbashi Biennale (Congo); in 2018, “Namblá Xokleng”, in Museu de Arte de Santa Catarina (Florianópolis, Brazil); Somos Muit+s (2019, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil), osloBiennalen (2019-2020, Norway) and 21ª Bienal de Arte Contemporânea Sesc Videobrasil (2019-2020, SESC SP, Brasil).

In 2011 Mônica was awarded the Prêmio Governador do Estado para a Cultura, and in 2018, the Montblanc Arts Patronage Award for her work with JAMAC.

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