Watch Me Werk at MASS MoCA (Raul dance to songs by Disclosure and Shamir)

During my 2-week studio residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, I created a small installation and performed a dance to songs by Disclosure and Shamir.
On March 1, an Open Studios event was held.
During that time, I danced on top of a duct tape installation created in my studio.
I chose the songs "Intro" by Disclosure and "On the Regular" by Shamir.
Surrounded by drawings depicting construction work and house work, I choreographed a dance that was about Werkin it!
Dressed in a hand-painted hi-viz work shirt, my dance combined voguing with salsa moves, and feelings of sass.

Common Currents - 1753 - People of Bexar

People of Bexar
acrylic, marker, graphite, and cut lithograph on bristol paper
17" x 14", 2018

According to the book, the 1750’s was a time of lots of change and diversity.  Up until 1745, San Antonio settlers were taking Apache women and children as servants, after battles between Native American and Spanish settlers took place.  It was very common in the 1750’s for a family to consist of a husband in his early twenties, a wife in her late teens, one child, a black slave, and Indian servants.  
And these people worked together in a community, whether by choice or necessity.  The community would often find itself battling against hostile Indians. 

Bexar’s population was also drained as families would have to leave to found new military posts that accompanied new missions. Men would often die in battles against Comanches at these new posts. 
Re-marrying was very common.  Both widows and widowers would find new partners, which would lead to very diverse households. 

The Spaniards brought a mixture of Spanish, Indian, and Iberian blood.  Native American and black slaves were already dwelling on the land.  As these races blended together, there were names for each union. 

Mulattoes was used to describe a Spanish and black union.  Lobos was used to describe an Indian-African individual. The word Coyote, though not used often, was a term for an Indian-Mestizo. And Mestizo was used to describe a Spanish-Indian.

So for my work, I decided to paint a piece of paper with an array of skin tones.  I then covered them up completely with graphite to symbolize how written history eliminates certain individual’s contribution or existence.  I then made a list of the terms used to describe people living in San Antonio de Bexar during 1753.  I erased those terms out of the graphite so that the words themselves become impactful.

The city is rooted in multi-culturalism but yet that is often left out of the city’s history.  As I searched countless sites and library catalogs, much of the city’s history focuses on new missions, churches, etc.
I wanted to make people aware of how who the people were, even if that means googling the words  I used in my drawing. 

DOING WORK - Opening Night Performance & Select Work

For his performance titled "Mom Would Have Been Proud",
Raul dances to Jamie XX's "On Hold" Remix at grayDUCK Gallery.

The song is both powerfully uplifting and haunting.
As a kid, I remember my mom used to spend Saturday mornings cleaning the apartment while blasting her favorite songs on our family stereo.  She'd often replay songs over and over while my sisters and I helped her vacuum or dust our home.
We often rented and eventually owned a lot of dance-themed movies such as Footloose, Shag, Salsa, Lambada, Grease, Dirty Dancing, and plenty of others.
Over the course of my life, I've taught myself different style of dancing that allow me to express emotions that I cannot in my paintings and drawings.


upcoming performance schedule:

east austin studio tour weekend

saturday november 11:

11:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm,
2:45pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm, 5:45pm

sunday november 12:

12:45pm, 1:45pm, 
2:45pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm,

artist talk:sunday, december 3, 2pm 

exhibition dates: november 4 - december 3, 2017

gallery hours: thur - sat 11-6pm & sun 12-5pm | 512.826.53342213 e. cesar chavez | austin tx 78702

Select Work:
(all images courtesy Luis Garza Photography)