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Penumbras: The Geometry of Nepantla, a photographic workshop

  • Project Row Houses 2521 Holman Street Houston, TX, 77004 United States (map)
Project Row Houses,  Round 49: Penumbras Sacred Geometries , detail, 2019. Photo by Delilah Montoya.

Project Row Houses, Round 49: Penumbras Sacred Geometries, detail, 2019. Photo by Delilah Montoya.

Penumbras: The Geometry of Nepantla, a photographic workshop 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Project Row Houses
2521 Holman Street
Houston, TX 77004

Curators Ryan N. Dennis and William Cordova gathered artists rooted in the geometry of community and highlight the ways they negotiate cultural practices that defy and transcend social oppression. This walking lecture and workshop will reflect on the definition of Penumbra as an esthetic presence and also its political implication. The Penumbras is not only rooted in astronomy by defining the peripheries of the umbra but also provided the metaphoric language that expands the interpretation of the Bill of Rights.  

Penumbras, like Nepantla, describe the margins between opposing dualities. It is the margin between the darkest point of an eclipse and where the sun spills out. This gray space is the in-between of light and dark. Nepantla is a "liminal" space, where multiple forms of reality are viewed at the same time.  Allowing for the examination of concepts that seem to compete but also provide a pathway for transitions, it also is an in-between space. Nepantla is a Nahuatl (Aztec) term used to explain how the colonized felt as aspects of their world could not be synthesize into the imposing culture. This space is where the colonial body survives as a form of resistance and transition. Delilah Montoya will review the works from the standpoint of the in-between as the geometry of sacred space.

Bring your Camera Phones or Cameras! Participants are encouraged to take photographs of Round 49 with their phone camera, or any other camera during the lecture. All participants will convene at the end in the 2-story to share their final images.

About Delilah Montoya

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, artist Delilah Montoya’s longtime place of residence is New Mexico, the ancestral home of her mother’s family. Her work is grounded in the mestizo/a experience of the Southwest and borderlands, bringing together a multiplicity of syncretic forms and practices from those of Aztec Mexico and Spain, to cross-bordered vernacular traditions, all of which are inflected by contemporary Native American and Anglo American customs and values. Her artistic home is the cacophony of the contemporary Chicano/a –Mexicano/a – Hispano/a experience in New Mexico.

As a photographic printmaker, who has experimented with most print processes from the collotype to digital imaging and video production, Montoya consistently pushes the boundaries of what is technically possible and conceptually challenging. Her work explores the unusual relationships that result from negotiating different ways of viewing, conceptualizing, representing, and consuming the worlds found in the Southwest from her own perspective as a feminist Chicana artist from a matriarchal family. It is about syncretism, ancient and ongoing mestizaje. She purposefully positions her work as an alternative to the mainstream, as a catalyst for issues of cultural identity.

Montoya has exhibited nationally and internationally since the mid-1980s. Working her way through school as a medical photographer, she received her MFA in 1994 from the University of New Mexico and has taught at several colleges and universities. As an educator, her prime goal is to create an environment that fosters self-invention, a project that echoes her own efforts as a Chicana artist.

Cost: FREE


Earlier Event: April 29
Monday Night Tutoring
Later Event: May 6
Monday Night Tutoring