3. Female Migrations

Design by Alejandro Torres Viera & Eduardo Palma

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky
Amanda Gutiérrez
Esperanza Mayobre
Simone Couto

Se habla español (SHE)

La Nacional
239 W 14th St New York, NY 10011

Wednesdays July 10, 31,
August 7 & 14, 2019

Female Migrations is a program curated by Se habla español (SHE) that invites four Latin American artists who address the female perspective of migration. The program,a series of four events which will take place at La Nacional, presents site-specific works by Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Simone Couto, Amanda Gutiérrez, and Esperanza Mayobre. How does the female gaze experiences migration? How is the journey of men different from the forgotten and the visceral experience of migrating as a woman? Female Migrations calls attention to the historic dismissed role and view of women in this current and dire issue, through the personal experiences and artistic practices of the invited artists.

July 10th: Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

The Perilous Journey of María Rosa Palacios and How to Build a Wall and Other Ruins: PAPERS. Screening and live performance. The Perilous Journey of María Rosa Palacios is a hybrid documentary-fictional tale to pay homage to the artist’s Afro Ecuadorian’s great grandmother’s story of migration. How to build a wall and other ruins: PAPERS absorbs the debates around the engineering feats of Inca architecture. The participatory performance links popular narratives concerning the persistence of pre-Columbian identity with current discourses about borders, migration, and nationhood.

July 31st: Amanda Gutiérrez

Flâneuse>La caminanta. VR installation

Flâneuse> La caminanta is a performative documentary of soundwalks with female-identified participants in the public space. The title of the work emphasizes a missing word in Spanish that describes women as wanderers. Gutiérrez’s work calls out how female-identified bodies can safely perceive their autonomy as walkers. The performance will incorporate a collaborative work including sonic explorations and choreographic gestures to make a stand to the lack of inclusiveness of these bodies in public space.

August 7th: Esperanza Mayobre

Domingo familiar (It’s not Sunday, but can you play domino with me?) Gathering. Mayobre addresses Venezuela’s migration crisis by opening a space for togetherness. She recreates home inviting the public to play dominoes in a familiar setting recalling her aunt’s experience as a domino champion. Rather than confrontation, Mayobre seeks an environment that allows sharing, humor, and relief to humanize the current crisis.

August 14th: Simone Couto

2 x 2 Installation
2 x 2, a multimedia installation by Simone Couto, is a dream-like collection of immigrant biographies that is also the biography of a city from two time periods. After researching La Nacional’s archive, focusing on its membership cards from 1868 to 1995, the artist paired female immigrants whose 2 x 2 pictures are missing with female immigrants currently living in NYC. They were asked to write a personal letter to one of the former members and reconstruct their identities while exploring their own by blending real and invented stories.


Se habla español is a curatorial collective established in NYC in 2017, which is comprised of Noelia Lecue Francia, María Alejandra Sáenz García, Andrea Valencia Aranda, and Natalia Viera Salgado, from Spain, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico respectively. As Spanish speakers and curators, the collective works on artistic and social projects that expand the limits of language, addressing migration, identity, human rights, and memory.

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky (Ecuador) is a multidisciplinary artist that works mainly with photographs, video, and performance. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Lafayette College, Easton PA. She has participated in various exhibitions and biennials including the Cuenca Biennial (2016) and the São Paulo Biennial (2010). She is currently working on “How to build a wall and other ruins,” with the support of Creative Capital. Her work can be seen in fairs such as ARCO Madrid, NADA Miami, or PARC Lima and has been included in museum collections like Urbes Muatantes, The Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Esperanza Mayobre (Venezuela) is a Brooklyn-based artist that grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She is a recipient of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency, International Studio and Curatorial Program, Smack Mellon Studio Program, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace (LMCC), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; La Caja Centro Cultural Chacao; The Bronx Museum of the Arts; Queens Museum; MIT; BRIC; Art Museum of the Americas; Museum of Art of El Salvador; and Museo Sívori. Her work has been featured in Artishock, Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Creative Time Reports, and Art in America.

Amanda Gutiérrez (Mexico) explores the experience of home, belonging, and cultural identity by bringing into focus details of everyday practices. She graduated in performance and new media by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is currently a Ph.D. student in the University of Girona, in the Doctoral Programme in Humanities, Heritage, and Cultural Studies. She has exhibited internationally in museums, and contemporary art galleries, such as The Windor Gallery; Khiasma Gallery; Move Forward Festival; Liverpool Art Biennial; Ex Teresa Arte Actual; and Action Art Actuelle. She is a recipient of the National System of Art Creators from Mexico, The Fellowship Competition 2007, and CAAP 2008, and it was a nominee for Artadia Art Chicago 2009.

Collaborators Performance Flâneuse>La caminanta

Viv Corringham is a British vocalist and sound artist, active since the late 1970s. Her work includes concerts, soundwalks, radio works and multi-channel installations. She is interested in exploring people’s sense of place and the link with personal history and memory. She worked with Pauline Oliveros for many years and holds a teaching Certificate in Deep Listening. She facilitates workshops in listening and sounding, recently in Hong Kong, London, Bangalore, New York, Kolkata and Manila. She received two Composer Fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, through American Composers Forum. Her work has been presented in twenty five countries on five continents. Vivcorringham.org

Julia Santoli is a multimedia artist based in New York. Her work synthesizes image, gesture, and sound while navigating memory and presence how past experience manifests in the present as ruins, and how these traces transform through mediation to/from the body within the ghost-nature of sound. Her explorations take the form of vocal performance and body-generated audio feedback, sonic installation, video, and prints. She completed her BFA from the School of Visual Arts (Visual and Critical Studies), and has presented performative and visual work throughout New York. 

La Nacional Since its founding in 1868, the primary objective of the La Nacional is to “promote, encourage and spread the spirit of fraternity and solidarity among Spanish and Hispanic-American residents of this country.” In those early years, the organization provided Spaniards with food, shelter, healthcare, and afterlife services, while functioning as a home away from home. The Spanish Benevolent Society still remains committed to assisting those who come from Spain to navigate the urban landscape of New York City.

Support How to build a wall and other ruins: PAPERS is made possible with funds from Creative Engagement or Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC.