History of a People Who Were Not Heroes: A Town Portrait, 1994. Wood, glass, steel, clay tablets, black and white photographs, video, and stereo sound, dimensions variable.

María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Rooting Dislocation

When I met María Magdalena Campos- Pons in her Boston studio, she was gestating ideas for Documenta 14, thinking about installations in both Athens and Kassel. Her thoughts, figuratively and literally, germinated in a corner, where a branch of spindly potato plant–an invasive species that takes over everything– drew an awkward but tenacious line up the wall. “It’s a totally discardable plant, but with inner strength,” she explained. “Like me, it’s something that arrived as an alien and had to adapt to a new environment.” 1 She pointed out objects that serve as Afro-Cuban metaphors–ritual benches for holding sacred herbs during Santería religious rituals, blown glass symbolizing human frailty, a table made from car scrap of the kind common to the now pricey antique American cars zooming along El Malecon, Havana’s seaside drive. “I also want textures from ancient Cuban walls and from videos and music composed by my husband, Neil Leonard,” she said.…see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.