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Politics of Exchange: Nasheli Ortiz & Emilio Maldonado

Politics of Exchange: Nasheli Ortiz & Emilio Maldonado
Saturday, February 17th '18 – Saturday, June 9th '18
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Nasheli Ortiz and Emilio Maldonado

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Nasheli Ortiz & Emilio Maldonado – Politics of Exchange

Politics of Exchange is a collaborative project conceived by husband and wife Ortiz and Maldonado and was first exhibited in 2017 at the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. 
Politics of Exchange explores of the relationship between ownership, property, use, and disposability. It is a reflection about the object, both as a discarded element and as an element of beauty. The exhibition is also about how an entire country can be treated as an object whose political, ideological, and economic situations are the fruit and consequence of a stream of failing policies imposed during the twentieth century with the purpose of serving as an experiment for social theories of health, economics, and population control.
This project is an observation of Puerto Rico’s political and economic panorama. A Carribbean island committed to the idea of the American Dream, Puerto Rico has been deprived of both freedom of choice and inclusion in the attainment of that dream. The land and its people have been subjected to handling and transference between countries of greater power. Puerto Rico is an object made of dirt, beauty and lives surrendered as war booty—this reality has produced the current crisis manifested in the detrimental effects of colonialism in the 21st century. These objects of exchange are the elements presented in these gallery spaces. It is the realization and acceptance of the politics that make the object of freedom an object to be discarded.
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Nasheli Ortiz received a MFA from Savannah College of Art & Design, a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico as well as an AAS from Altos de Chavón, affiliated with Parsons the New School of Design; all studies in Fashion Design. She is Chair and Associate Professor in the Fashion Design Department at Moore College of Art & Design. Her professional practice outside of the educational community includes working as a technical designer, draper, tailoring and fine sewing techniques for dierent designers based in New York, Italy, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She also works on her own brand Nasheli Juliana.
Emilio was born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. He earned an AAS in Fine Arts and Illustration from at Altos de Chavón, aliated with Parsons the New School for Design in 2007, a BFA in Painting from Escuela de Artes Plásticas of San Juan, in San Juan Puerto Rico in 2011 and an MFA in Painting at Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. He is an Adjunct Professor at Moore College of Art & Design, as well as assistant preparator at the Brandywine River Museum. He lives and work in Ardmore, PA
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