Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mabel Negrete: Socially Engaged Art


I am a visual artist working in the domains of installation, performance, multimedia, public art, experimental processes and relational aesthetics. My projects and activities are best defined to explore the body, place, and collective memory. Through these mediums and concepts, my (intimate, playful, satirical) work is deeply concerned with the social and natural dynamics that hinders humanity from creating non-exploitative and sustainable societies today. Having witnessed xenophobia, discrimination, dislocation, child abuse, domestic violence, judicial violence, state violence and environmental disasters, my work is a way to release, transform and bring into consciousness the emotional despair, confusion and anger that these contemporary issues provoke in me and to the community at large.


I migrated with my brother to the United States in 1988 to live with my mother who seven years prior had also escaped from domestic violence and the political and economical despair of our country, Chile. We lived in the town of Burlingame (Bay Area) and I graduated from Burlingame High School in 1991. I spend that summer studying painting at the Academy of Arts and by 1992 I moved back to Chile to reconnect with my cultural heritage. I took courses in history and studio art at the University of Playa Ancha. By 1994 I was back in California where I worked while studied Fine Arts at Foothill and San Francisco Community College. By 2006 I was a BFA recipient from the San Francisco Art Institute.

My work has been shown publicly and exhibited at various cultural institutions such as Intersection for the Arts, SlaughterhouseSpace, LivinGallery (Italy), Southern Exposure, Galeria de la Raza, and the San Francisco World Affairs Counsel. I am founder and frequent contributor to numerous social art projects such as Hypersea, The Counter Narrative Society and most recently Plain Human. I make my living as an educator and have participated in a variety of residences for artist-teachers including City Studio (SFAI), Southern Exposure and Mission Science Workshop.

I have recently finished my social-art project Wear Orange for A Day and I am now preparing to produce my next art project. This is a series of experimental performance-interventions and exhibitions project aiming to further the discussion about solitary confinement units that was addressed at the conference STOP MAX at Temple University, Philadelphia.

1 - Mabel inhabits the Sensible Housing Unit (SHU) at the Golden Gate Park on 7.24.08
2 -Wanna Be! - A new project, 6.2008
3 - Wear Orange for a Day - Some participants hanging out after performing in front of the City Hall, San Francisco, 3.11.08

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