Jewcy Art: Maya Escobar
In 2007 we dubbed her the Anti-Feminist Feminist Jewish Latina. We stumbled upon performance artist/ Internet curator/ editor Maya Escobar again at the GA in New Orleans where her video installations were making a Marina Abramovich-style scene near Jewcy’s booth. She uses the web as a platform for engaging in critical community dialogues that concern processes by which identities are socially and culturally constructed. She performs multiple identities, sampling widely from online representations of existing cultural discourses. Her proud identifications as a Latina-Jewish artist, dyslexic blogger, fitness enthusiast, activist and educator are indexed by the blogs she keeps, the visual and textual links she posts, the books, articles, and blog posts she cites, the public comments she leaves, and the groups she joins. We were lucky enough to make friends and score some Shomer Negiah panties and have kept in touch since. Her recent collaboration with Puerto Rican installation and performance artist Andria Morales has culminated in two ongoing projects, Are You My Other? and AMerican MEdia Output.
Are You My Other? is an Internet-based self-portrait dialog exchange project. Through a series of weekly exchanged blog posts, Escobar and Morales publicly negate, deconstruct, and reconstruct their individual histories, identities, and conceptions of self.
AMerican MEdia Output, is an online consulting and strategic marketing agency. Acting as designers, distributors, and promo models, we are producing a series of advertisements addressing contentious topics in the news, such as Arizona’s SB-1070 and the Dream Act.
The project is gaining mainstream attention, as Are You My Other? will feature at the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio, TX. But in order to get there, they need to collectively raise cash money for the cause. Their Taking it to Texas Campaign offers lots of goodies in exchange for all levels of donations, including the infamous Shomer Negiah panties.
Escobar received her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany, Venezuela, and Chile. Her artistic influences include ASCO (Chicano performance art collective), Augusto Boal (Theater of the Oppressed), Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed), and Frida Kahlo. She is making herself quite at home in Chicago where her mayoral mural for Chicago candidate Del Valle made Huffpo and Reader news this week. These days, she can be found in Chi dressing up and becoming “The Fat Free Elotera” human corn on the cob character from Are You My Other?