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Genesis Báez

Genesis Báez is an artist from Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in both New England and Puerto Rico. Her work utilizes photography, video, and performance to explore place, history, and our relationship to it. She received a BFA with honors form the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012 where she studied photography and it’s history. She is the recent recipient of the Civil Society Fellowship, a winner of 2015’s Latin American Fotografía 4, and has participated in numerous exhibitions and publications. Báez has balanced her time between making work, educating, and curating. Currently, she is traveling through North America, Europe, and Puerto Rico. 

Artist Statement: 

The images in the body of work Reclamation were once photographs of Puerto Rican landscapes made with film between 2010 and 2014. After giving life to this film by developing it, I returned to Puerto Rico and buried the film, for varying amounts of time, where the image was originally made. After a week or sometimes a year, the film was dug back up. With time, these images transformed in unexpected ways, as do memories and our perception of place. Reclamation is a body of work that explores the malleability of memory, using erasure as a mark-making tool. The images explore the possibilities of film’s surface as a material, while subverting traditional modes of representation. 

Puerto Rico’s photographic history is largely informed by it’s colonial history and relationship with the United States. Often, landscape photographs were made to catalogue newly acquired territory, document changes in the landscape inflicted by rapid industrialization, and to justify US power over the land. The work in Reclamation is a gesture towards challenging these traditional modes of representation which were often used to perpetuate power.  In turn, these transformed, horizonless landscapes offer new possibilities rooted in endurance. 

Mountains and Vally facing Maunabo, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Photographed on July 12, 2012 Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on March 28, 2013 Negative dug up on April 9, 2013
Mountains and Vally facing Maunabo, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Photographed on July 12, 2012
Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on March 28, 2013
Negative dug up on April 9, 2013
The Almond Tree Casting it’’’’s Shadow Over the House, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Photographed on November 21, 2011 Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on March 6, 2015 Negative dug up on March 13, 2015
The Almond Tree Casting its Shadow Over the House, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Photographed on November 21, 2011
Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on March 6, 2015
Negative dug up on March 13, 2015
Valley Facing the Sun Oil Co., Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Photographed on June 12, 2012 Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 20, 2014 Negative dug up on January 26, 2014
Valley Facing the Sun Oil Co., Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Photographed on June 12, 2012
Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 20, 2014
Negative dug up on January 26, 2014
Mountains Dividing Yabucoa and Maunabo, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Photographed June 12, 2012 Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 16, 2014 Negative dug up on January 30, 2014
Mountains Dividing Yabucoa and Maunabo, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Photographed June 12, 2012
Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 16, 2014
Negative dug up on January 30, 2014
Mountains and Bamboo Grove, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Photographed on November 21, 2011 Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 15, 2014 Negative dug up on March 7, 2015
Mountains and Bamboo Grove, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
Photographed on November 21, 2011
Negative buried in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on January 15, 2014
Negative dug up on March 7, 2015
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