About the Exhibition
‘Planeta Abuelx’ is a solo exhibition of new work by artist Guadalupe Maravilla drawing on ancestral, Indigenous, and ritual practices of healing. Maravilla’s sculptures are an accumulation of totemic forms, recycled and found materials, botanicals, Mesoamerican symbolism, and functional sound components.
The title, expanding the idea of “Mother Earth” into the intergenerational, gender neutral, and open-ended “Grandparent Planet,” points to Maravilla’s framing of intimate familial relationships and passage of time as crucial to the restorative process. The installation of works serves as an homage to our elders, not only as a vulnerable group disproportionally lost to illness including Covid-19, but also as keepers of curative ancestral knowledge passed down through generations.
Informed by personal experiences of migration and illness, Maravilla’s practice and his exhibition at Socrates invites the public to more broadly consider how we – as communities and individuals – begin rehabilitation and renewal from collective traumas, including the Covid-19 pandemic and continued white supremacist violence. Maravilla’s focus on mutual and holistic care are in harmony with Socrates as a waterfront park, a sheltered green space, and place of community.
Experience the ‘Planeta Abuelx’ exhibition in a whole new way from anywhere, anytime on your smartphone or tablet with Bloomberg Connects! Bloomberg Connects is a free digital guide to cultural institutions around the world. Download the app and learn more about ‘Planeta Abuelx’ along with the Park’s 30-year history of exhibiting bold public art projects! Special digital features include performance documentaries and audio guides.
HEALING SOUND BATHS
As part of his ‘Planeta Abuelx‘, artist Maravilla is offering a series of healing sound baths. Some of the artist’s sound baths at the Park are intended to serve the general public, while others are offered to specific identity groups – like people affected by cancer or people who are undocumented.
Maravilla was introduced to sound baths therapy while he was receiving chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer and found it to be a helpful pain management tool. He was also drawn to sound baths as a non-Western, ancestral, and Indigenous healing tradition.
The artist believes that sound vibrations travel through the water contained in the human body on a cellular level – activating a parasympathetic relaxation response. “Human bodies are over 70% water, and the vibration of the gongs can help balance emotional, psychological, and in some cases physical pain,” he explains.
Some studies have shown that sound baths can have beneficial effects including releasing muscle tension, decreasing blood pressure, altering brain wave frequency, and facilitating a deep meditative state.
Various methods of sound healing techniques have been practiced for centuries in locations ranging from the Tibetan Plateau to the Yucatan Peninsula. To create an immersive sound-scape for a healing sound bath, sound healers use vocalization techniques and/or play one or more percussive instruments like gongs, singing bowls, and tuning forks in hypnotic sequences.
Maravilla’s healing sound baths at Socrates take place in his ‘Disease Thrower (#13 & #14) Installation,’ which trained sound healers activate by playing gongs attached to the sculptures. The installation also includes a fire pit that is lit during sound baths and maintained with medicinal and spiritual herbs throughout the ceremony.
*Programming is weather dependent. To ensure you are first in line to register, please subscribe to our email newsletter:
Saturday, May 15
Sunday, June 6 (Rain Date: June 13)
Saturday, June 20
Saturday, August 14
Saturday, September 4
ART21 DOCUMENTARY: ‘GUADALUPE MARAVILLA & THE SOUND OF HEALING’
Art21‘s moving short documentary film, ‘Guadalupe Maravilla & The Sound of Healing,’ follows the artist over the course of several months as he works to create and activate his ‘Planeta Abuelx‘ solo exhibition at Socrates! You can watch on Art21’s YouTube channel or via Socrates’ digital guide on the free Bloomberg Connects app for smartphones and tablets.
Guadalupe Maravilla has performed and presented his work extensively in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bronx Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, MARTE (El Salvador), Central America Biennial X (Costa Rica), Performa 11 & 13, Smack Mellon, and the ICA in Miami (2019). Their work is included in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Miami, FL), and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid). They are a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2019) and Creative Capital grant (2016). Based in Brooklyn, NY and Richmond, VA, Maravilla is currently an Assistant Professor at VCU. They are represented by PPOW Gallery in New York City where their exhibition, ‘Seven Ancestral Stomachs,’ was on view from February 26 – March 27, 2021.
This exhibition is organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and curated by Jess Wilcox, Curator & Director of Exhibitions, and danilo machado, Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from the Jerome Foundation and the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Socrates’s Exhibition Program is funded by the Charina Foundation, ConEdison, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation, Ivana Mestrovic, and Spacetime C.C. The exhibition is funded, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.