Joiri Minaya's Pattern Making | Art21 "New York Close Up"

Joiri Minaya's Pattern Making | Art21 "New York Close Up"

In the multidisciplinary practice of artist Joiri Minaya, the histories, realities, and fantasies of the Dominican Republic and the wider Caribbean are explored, exposed, and subverted as Minaya seeks to control her own representation and visibility. “I’m interested in the idea of opacity,” says Minaya. “A right to remain opaque, even to yourself, even things that you may not understand about yourself, and being at peace with that and not having to explain yourself to others.” In her collages, photographs, performances, and installations, Minaya uses pattern, camouflage, and opacity as a “tool for liberation” from outside judgment. In her photo series and performances of Containers (2015-2020), the artist recreates poses – arms akimbo, lying in odalisque – she found repeated in Google image search results for “Dominican women.” Performers wear patterned, restrictive bodysuits made from spandex that encase the wearer from head to toe.

Spandex also covers several monuments of colonizers in the series The Cloaking (2020), where Minaya created her own textiles featuring repeats of plants that played important roles to Native and Afro-diasporic peoples in the Americas. "I’m thinking of a way to re-signify the public space used to commemorate colonial history, and instead trying to commemorate the people who resisted colonialism,” Minaya explains. A dense visual layering of the Dominican Republic’s landscapes, her New York studio, and the artist's vibrant works, this short documentary film follows Minaya as she challenges the ways that the cultures of the Caribbean have been represented and makes space for the stories that remain untold.

Joiri Minaya was born in 1990 in New York City, where she currently lives and works. Learn more about the artist at:

"New York Close Up" Series Producer: Nick Ravich.
Director & Editor: Alina Rancier
Additional Editor: Lorena Alvarado
Producer: Lei Gonzalez
Line Producer: Banerys Gonzalez
Cinematography: Sofia Marcos, Isabel Padilla
Assistant Camera: Nica Fazio, Manuela Hidalgo
Location Sound: Michael Lovett, Rachel Villegas
Production Services: Amala Studio
Associate Producer: Andrea Chung
Assistant Curator: Jurrell Lewis
Production Assistant: Ana Valeria Castillos
Color Correction: Marina Frigerio
Sound Mix: Andrew Fox
Music: Michael Lovett
Design & Graphics: Chips
Artwork & Archival Media Courtesy: Joiri Minaya
Thanks: Khalil Fersobe, ISCP, Jose Lopez, Ramon Lopez y Francisca, Addison Post, Arelys Rancier, Wave Hill

© Art21, Inc. 2023. All rights reserved.

“New York Close Up” is made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and individual contributors.

Translated subtitles are generously contributed by our volunteer translation community.

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Video Language:
"New York Close Up" series
Format: Youtube
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Format: Youtube