Firelei Báez

Trust Memory Over History

6. 7. — 13. 10. 2024


Colorful, powerful tricks­ters populate the magical visual worlds of the Dominican American, New York-based artist Firelei Báez.

Inspired by Caribbean culture, its stories, and its role at the forefront of global political and economic notions of modernity, Báez has found a unique, highly symbolic visual language for her monumental paintings and instal­la­tions. In her work, beauty, joy, and freedom emerge from the often-violent archives of history. She disrupts histo­rical maps and archival diagrams with the recurring figure of the Ciguapa, a trickster figure and psychic guard from Hispa­niolan folklore. Báez playfully flips the normative read of the Ciguapa as a wayward, unruly part of nature to a more powerful, self-deter­mined being able to subvert histo­rical, racia­lized, and gendered dynamics of power. Her painterly inter­ven­tion of colonial history thwarts a conven­tional Eurocentric reading and opens the mind to multi-linear perspec­tives. In doing so, Báez encou­rages viewers to consider global culture and identity in a new, forward-looking way.

Since the purchase of Báez’s instal­la­tion at the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contem­porary Art in 2018, the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg has been closely following her work and the develo­p­ment of her career. We are therefore even more delighted to be able to present the first compre­hen­sive solo exhibi­tion of this outstan­ding painter in Germany.

The exhibi­tion is being organized in coope­ra­tion with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, and will be accom­pa­nied by a publi­ca­tion in English.

Uta Ruhkamp

Curato­rial assis­tance
Carla Wiggering