María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Meanwhile, The Girls Were Playing

Figure under a floating canopy, projected on wall above 3 spot-lit, round installations on the floor of a dark gallery

Installation view, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Meanwhile, the Girls Were Playing, MIT List Visual Art Center, 1999. Photo:  Archival slide image.

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María Magdalena Campos-Pons
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Meanwhile, The Girls Were Playing is the third part in a series of installation works by Boston-based artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons which explore issues of transnationality and cultural migration/displacement, through the lens of the artist’s experiences as a Cuban expatriate living in the U.S.

The new work forms a microcosmic landscape with hundreds of jewel-like blue, green, and yellow cast glass stars, flowers, and trivets spread out in concentric circles across the gallery floor. Video projected onto a skirt-like bundle of fabric extending outward from the center of each grouping of glass objects depicts activities that repeat the motif of an endlessly, and identically, repeated activity, or cycle: birds circling a birdfeeder, children playing jacks, a top spinning. Implicit in these vivid images is the landscape of childhood, a protected world insulated from the conflicts — political, social, and cultural — of adulthood.