Wednesday, 02 October 2019 15:22

October 21, 2019 | The Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) Presents An Emphasis on Resistance










The exhibition presents the works of nine Latin American artists at

El Museo del Barrio | 1230 5th Avenue, New York City

On view October 30, 2019 al 2 - February 2, 2020 


Photo: Left to right first row: Emerging Artist- Oscar Abraham Pabón (Venezuela); Emerging Artist- María José Machado (Ecuador);Emerging Artist- Susana Pilar Delahante  (Cuba); Left to right second row: Mid-Career Artist- Leyla Cárdenas (Colombia); Achievement Award recipient, Cecilia Vicuña (Chile); Mid-Career Artist- Yucef Merhi (Venezuela); Left to right third row: Mid-Career Artist- Nicolás Paris (Colombia); Mid-Career Artist- Ana Linnemann (Brazil); and Emerging Artist- Claudia Martínez Garay (Peru).




New York, NY (October 21, 2019) – The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is pleased to announce An Emphasis on Resistance, an exhibition highlighting new works by nine artist recipients representing seven Latin American countries from the Foundation’s 2019 Grants & Commissions Program. On view at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, from October 30, 2019, through February 2, 2020, the exhibit marks the second year that the CIFO Grants & Commissions Program exhibition is presented internationally.


An Emphasis on Resistance features works by CIFO award-winning artists, divided into three categories: Achievement Award, Cecilia Vicuña (Chile); Mid-Career Artists— Leyla Cárdenas (Colombia), Ana Linnemann (Brazil), Yucef Merhi (Venezuela) and Nicolás Paris (Colombia); and Emerging Artists— Susana Pilar Delahante (Cuba), María José Machado (Ecuador), Claudia Martínez Garay (Peru), and Oscar Abraham Pabón (Venezuela).


“CIFO is thrilled to be partnering with El Museo del Barrio for the next edition of the Grants & Commissions program,” said Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, CIFO’s Founder and Honorary President. “This upcoming exhibition will be a major event, and we are looking forward to seeing the work of these emerging, mid-career and established artists come to life in New York City.”







Cecilia Vicuña (Chile) has embraced the concept of the quipu, a tactile and spatial metaphor for the interconnection of the body and the cosmos since the mid 60's. In Quipu Akon One the acclaimed artist speaks from the spiritual core of Andean poetics associating the thread of water with the thread of life. The Quipu is constructed with unspun wool. Nothing holds it together, symbolizing the fluidity and fragility of water. The piece mirrors the disappearance of the glaciers in the Andes due to global warming, and the policies that favor mining over the preservation of water. It merges wool and wounded ice as a prayer, calling us to mobilize into urgent climate action to preserve the future of water.




Leyla Cárdenas (Colombia) delves into the architectural ruins of cities as indices of social transformation, forgetfulness, and historic memory. In her video-installation, Destramando la retícula (Unweaving the Grid), she unravels the weft that makes up the projection screen, leaving the warp as a stratigraphic metaphor for the ghostly connotation of both architectural vestiges and natural geology.


Ana Linnemann (Brazil) creates circuits with different pieces from an ongoing series of works to configure Notes on Practice (Studio Table # 3)––a conducting wooden structure where objects and tools related to artistic labor are brought to life through electrical connections. This hybrid installation could be considered the main point of her work, in which open systems of relation “emphasize a universe where meanings are open and the difference is celebrated”.


No Fly Security is an immersive installation by Yucef Merhi (Venezuela) comprised of official reports, testimonies, and leaked data from the No Fly List––a list created and maintained by the United States Federal Government's Terrorist Screening Center (TSC). His new media strategy features a work in which the interconnections between language and technology are core in addressing social, political, and philosophical issues in the contemporary world.


More than as a physical space, Nicolás Paris (Colombia) examines the classroom as an idea, a space designed to produce knowledge through environments, where instability, flexibility, and immateriality prevail. Salón de clase para aprender lo que no se puede aprender (o una escuela invisible) [Classroom to Learn What Cannot Be Learned (or an Invisible School)], is a modular and mutable installation attached to the architectural space that involves the active role of the public.




The body is the medium for Regreso (Return), a performance by Susana Pilar Delahante (Cuba) that explores the footprint of the African diaspora in the Caribbean through her own family history. What would her relatives say to their African ancestors if they had the chance to meet them at the moment of departing from Africa to America as slaves? She will carry all those messages on her trip to the island of Gorée and will read them out loud standing at the Door of No Return at The House of Slaves, a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade.


Claudia Martínez Garay (Peru) creates a graphic installation called Sub America, a mix of diverse images associated with insurrection and oppression throughout Latin American history. Ideological forces that emerged on the continent are embodied by symbols sharing the same space within the installation. Icons of dictatorship and rebellions merge into the same entity, discussing their problems as a common abstract Latin America.


Through her relational work, workshops, and photographic documentation around the representation of allegories of freedom within prison life, María José Machado (Ecuador) sheds light on problematic societal issues. In Circuito Cerrado (Closed Circuit), Machado uses her body as a logistical tool and a means of communication: “My body is a possibility and a choice in looking for non-colonizing art. I use spaces that I can inhabit.”


Casa de resonancia (Resonance House) is a sound installation by Oscar Abraham Pabón (Venezuela) in which the artist intervenes a grand piano by using recycled materials around its perimeter to create a sound box that resembles informal housing. The interactive piece invites the audience to play the instrument while experiencing the sounds produced by the alteration of its percussion system.





About the CIFO Grants & Commissions Program


The CIFO Grants & Commissions Program offers emerging, mid-career and established contemporary Latin American artists the opportunity to develop and present new work to international audiences. To date CIFO has awarded more than 120 artists and dedicated over $1.5 million in funds through the program. Each year, artists are nominated by CIFO’s Honorary Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading art professionals, curators and artists from Latin America, the United States and Europe. After a rigorous review process, the winners are chosen by the Selection Committee and ratified by the CIFO Board of Directors. The program has been known to springboard its recipients to the next level of their careers.


About CIFO


Ella Fontanals-Cisneros established the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in 2002. The foundation’s mission is to support and foster cultural understanding and educational dialog among Latin American artists and global audiences. CIFO serves as a platform for emerging, mid-career and established Latin American artists through the Grants & Commissions Program, the CIFO Collection, and other related art and cultural projects in the United States of America and internationally. 


For more information about the exhibitions and other programs, please visit, and follow CIFO on Facebook, Instagramand  Twitter.


About El Museo del Barrio 


El Museo del Barrio, founded by a coalition of Puerto Rican educators, artists, and activists, is the nation’s leading Latino and Latin American cultural institution. The Museum welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of these communities through its extensive Permanent Collection, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals, and special events. The Museum is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street in New York City, and open Wednesday to Saturday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Admission is suggested. For more information, please visit


Press Contact


Gabriela Borja

CIFO | Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
Marketing, Communications and Social Media Manager
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