ANTHONY GOICOLEA for films4peace

films4peace celebrates World Peace Day – an international United Nations day of ceasefire, and a day for individuals, organizations and countries to demonstrate acts of peace.

 

Anthony Goicolea (born USA, 1971) currently lives and works in New York, USA. “I have often felt that there are many rituals and traditions embedded in our various cultures that have lost their meaning and now merely serve as scripts for people to follow and act out without thinking of their true meanings or origins. Many children’s rhymes and songs, polite dinner customs, or party games derive from darker moments in history such as plague, famine, and war.

Growing up the son of Cuban parents, my brothers and I always had piñatas at our birthdays. Usually they took the shape of some sort of crude but cute animal effigy that ended up beaten to smithereens as rioting children stumbled over each other in a mad dash for the sugary spoils of war that spilled out like guts before them.

In my film for films4peace I wanted to dissect this sacrificial custom, the mechanics behind group dynamics, as well as the destruction that comes from greed. A life-sized, anatomically correct, sculpted horse in the guise of a piñata is beaten and destroyed until the multiple, identically clad, kids who flog it like monks banging church bells or a gong, surrender to the regret of the destruction they have wrought.”

watch the video “Piñata” here https://vimeo.com/73065360

ABOUT Anthony Goicolea

Born in 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Lives and works in New York

Anthony Goicolea (USA, 1971) is a first-generation Cuban American artist. He grew up in the Deep South of the United States of America, in the midst of the Cuban refugee crises, coupled with the advent of the AIDS crises, and the rise of the religious right. Goicolea was socially stigmatised for being Cuban, gay, and Catholic. These circumstances brought about a heightened awareness of social constructs, and the changing nature of identity in politics – a theme that continually influences his work. Goicolea explores themes ranging from personal history and identity, cultural tradition and heritage, to alienation and displacement.

His diverse oeuvre encompasses digitally manipulated self-portraits, landscapes, and narrative tableaux executed in a variety of media, including black-and-white and color photography, sculpture and video installations, and multi-layered drawings on Mylar. Best known for his powerful, and often unsettling, staged photographic and video works, Goicolea made his artistic debut in the late 1990s with a series of provocative multiple self-portrait images. These early works featured groups of young boys on the threshold of adolescence, acting out childhood fantasies and bizarre rituals of revelry and social taboo in highly staged domestic or institutional settings or dense, fairy-tale forests. Revealing a playful self-consciousness, they often consisted of complex composites of the artist himself, in all manner of poses and guises. Soon thereafter, Goicolea garnered international attention with his ambiguous, yet strangely compelling, landscapes, ranging from dream-like woodland environments to vast, unforgiving urban and industrial wastelands. The artist has created several series of digitally composited, and heretofore uncharted, topographies, often populated by bands of masked and uniformed figures.

In recent series, many of the images are devoid of humans, although the landscape reflects an anonymous and increasingly tenuous human presence. In these works, primitive lean-tos and crudely constructed shanties coexist in an uneasy union with the technological vestiges of an industrialized society. Suggesting a world on the brink of obsolescence, these chilling images further cement the pervasive undercurrent of human alienation—from one another as well as the natural environment—that can be traced throughout the artist’s work.

Anthony Goicolea has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; the International Center of Photography, New York and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Goicolea’s art is held in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Yale University Art Collection, Photography, CT; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castile and Leon, Spain;  21c Museum, Louisville, KY, the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection, among others.

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