Research stage commissioned by Centro León, 28 Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Tropical print fabrics have long been part of Joiri Minaya’s critical toolbox, having incorporated these materials in her work via photographs, performances, and installations. The Cloakings is a series of digital and real coverings for public monuments that represent colonial legacies. These tropical print coverings were specifically designed as metaphors of resistance, incorporating plants used in Native American, Black and Afro-Caribbean rituals that reference poison healing, purging, cleansing, casting evil spirits away or protection, as well as the very plant that poisoned Ponce de León. Through this process, Minaya resignifies her own work in order to create a statement on public space and national identity in relation, but not limited to, touristic and commemorative sites. The massive worldwide movement in defense of Black lives that took center stage during the Summer of 2020 demands a more just, decolonized future, and has consistently critiqued the reasons for keeping such monuments. By intervening on the statues, Minaya makes them hyper-visible and calls into question their place in our cities, and their ideological repercussions in our societies and our minds.