Art Exhibition: Josué Guarionex and Melissa Calderón’s “Suspicious Activity”


The Andrew Freedman Artist in Residence Program presents the two person exhibit by Josué Guarionex and Melissa Calderón entitled “Suspicious Activity.” Free and open to the public, the exhibition takes place from November 14 to December 6, 2014, at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx. The opening reception is on Friday, November 14, from 5:30pm to 9:00pm.

“Suspicious Activity” melds political and ecological concepts with the ritual and symbolic significance of materiality and process. This exhibition also presents a snapshot of current political and ecological worldviews, addressing topics of surveillance, labor, inequality, and extinction through a historical and philosophical lens.

Artists Calderón and Josué Guarionex create a unique dialogue through materials and concepts, focusing on the current status quo of imbalance and indifference embedded within political systems and its treatment of the natural world. Their work investigates the current state of complacent ideology while addressing the duality of an ever-changing world within the Sisyphean cycle that history cannot escape.

Melissa A. Calderón born and raised in The Bronx, New York. She uses ecological concepts to create different bodies of work, and investigates the space in-between; memory and re-memory, the ephemeral and the eternal. Her work also explores the social and political landscape of change while drawing upon historical references of power, fragility and perception. Calderón has exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Portland Museum of Art, Arsenal de la Puntilla and Galería 20/20 in Puerto Rico, Pioneer Works, Longwood Arts Project among others. She is a PEPATIAN artist; a South Bronx-based organization dedicated to creating, producing and supporting contemporary multi-disciplinary art by Latino and Bronx-based artists founded by visual artist Pepon Osorio and dancer/choreographer Merian Soto. Moreover, she continues to be an advocate and activist for arts revitalization in the South Bronx. Melissa founded the Mott Haven loft series CONVERSIONs and has co-founded organizations such as Haven Art Space and Coalition of Mott Haven Artists. Fall projects include works at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art in Odd Places Festival on 14th St in NYC, and inclusion in the book Strange Material Storytelling through Textiles from Arsenal Pulp Press.

Josué Guarionex took his first steps in artistic creation alongside his family: his mother is a dressmaker/fashion designer and his father a cabinetmaker/wood artisan. He studied Civil Engineering (1991) at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce and later pursued studies in diesel mechanics. In 1996, he pursued Visual Art studies at Universidad de Sagrado Corazón. During this period, professor Nitza Luna recommended him to serve as the assistant of renowned photographer Jack Delano. In Puerto Rico, Guarionex also assisted several photographers in charge of advertising campaigns, underwater and tabletop photography. He also coordinated photographic productions such as the advertising campaign for the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and St. Croix US Virgin Islands in 1997. After moving to New York City, he became part of the Puerto Rican artist community in El Barrio and began an audiovisual project dedicated to the documentation Afro-Puerto Rican music. His first exhibition of sculptures, RollingPin=Espacios Ideales (RolllingPin=Ideal Spaces) took place in September 2009 at the Guatíbiri Gallery in Río Piedras, PR. His work has also been exhibited at BAAD Theatre, El Museo de las Américas IV Biennial of Photography in San Juan, Hostos Community College, Dominico-Americano Cultural Center, Palacio de Bellas Artes of Santo Domingo, Bronx Art Space, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Andrew Freedman Home.

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