Winslow Garage is pleased to present a selection of films and sculptural works by Malado Francine Baldwin-Tejeda. The daughter of Peace Corps volunteers and development workers, Malado spent her childhood in Senegal and Mali. Her diverse cultural background becomes a rich source for her telling of personal narratives as presented through larger cultural myths and histories. Beautiful, highly researched, and richly textured, Malado's work draws us into stories where symbolic artifacts from one culture can be reworked by another. New meaning is created in objects by allowing cultures to mix in surprising ways.
The film is a journey of discovery set in the framework of an alchemical process through the performances and embodiment of two women. The story was written using the stages of alchemy as described in ancient texts, fused with a new visual language, to form a cross-cultural creation myth. The materials and objects used in the film have multiple references. Each scene was designed using specific color palettes and symbols, referencing the stages of alchemy: light/dark, wet/dry, male/female, day/night, illusion/clarity... and animal symbolism, including: peacock, white wolf, green gryphon, and finally, the penultimate and final goal: the achievement of the philosopher's stone; or the turning of lead into gold. These ideas are expressed explicitly through costume, art direction, choreography, sculpture, and painting, in a densely-layered and evocative film.
A portrait of man as muse, the Dominican writer Octavio Gonzalez. Shot on VHS in 1997 and re-discovered as a part of the series: "Lost Tapes" in 2017. The VHS footage, over time, has become muted and grainy, and the effect is one of a time-capsule and window into a moment in time. In the film, the gaze is flipped: woman looking at man, man looking into mirror. We recall Narcissus' eye in the water. The mirror serves to transport us as an intimate witness to the transformation of the man, the recognition of his own beauty, and back again.
INNER LIGHT: (sculptures)
Symbolic artifacts are significant as a way we understand and honor our own histories. The "wind breastplate" of the "feathered serpent"- a Meso-american iconic image of Quetzacoatl’s pectoral is created in a 3D print as a "ghost image" in white of a disappearing artifact for a symbol of the past.
The textile "colliers" were made in the style of contemporary Senegalese embroidery. The designs are based on research into representations of sacred “inner light,” sometimes depicted as a halo or rays of light in Christian and other religions. By flipping the imagery, and turning them into vibrantly-colored collars made by Muslim tailors, they become newly symbolic works of art.
Malado Baldwin is an American multi-media artist based in Los Angeles. She received a BA in comparative literature from Swarthmore College, and an MFA in painting from the New York Studio School. Recent projects include curating an inaugural show of female-identifying artists called: “X Marks the Spot: Women of the New York Studio School,” a film screening at FAIR PLAY Miami Basel, an article in Hyperallergic.com, and a publication and reading for 7x7.LA at the Torrance Art Museum. Recent group shows include Hackett Mill San Francisco and KeyHole Gallery in Brooklyn. Her early film work was acquired as a part of Miranda July's Joanie4Jackie feminist film archive at Bard College and the Getty Research Institute. She is the recipient of the Buckingham Prize for music in art, and the Eugene Lang Scholarship for community service. Her new artist book "L'Amour Encore" (Love Again) is available on Blurb.