Artists Space

Las Nietas de Nonó: Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN

September 16 – December 3


Artists Space is pleased to present Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN, the first solo exhibition of Las Nietas de Nonó, the Puerto Rico based afro-diasporic siblings, mulowayi and mapenzi nonó. Weaving together performance, reusable and found objects, organic materials, ecology, fiction, video, and installation, this major exhibition foregrounds the artist’s utterly imaginative approaches to advocacy and liberation.

A woman wearing a gold headdress, hoop earring, and necklace stares off into the distance. The background is filled with trees and vegetation.
Las Nietas de Nonó, Still from FOODTOPIA: en el suelo áspero, 2022. [A woman wearing a gold headdress, hoop earring, and necklace stares off into the distance. The background is filled with trees and vegetation.]

Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN is a grouping of newly commissioned multimedia works that extend Las Nietas’s explorations of themes such as processes of expropriation and colonial violence against Black communities and the development of microhistories in relation to geopolitics. Throughout Artists Space’s ground floor, a series of interconnected abstract, biomorphic mixed-media installations prompts visceral, emotional, and sensory responses—the largest of which is a biodegradable installation entitled Sala Portal Omi. Made of SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)—the fermentation discs that develop during the production of kombucha—the installation creates what the artist calls “a restorative place for healing.” Believing that performative manifestations are vehicles to unveil silenced histories, it will double as a stage for a new theatrical performance premiering October 27-30.

Entering the main gallery of the polymorphous exhibition, visitors travel through a set of possible scenarios populated by plants, experimental sound, and film. Utilizing scene shifting—a theatrical technique used to indicate a change of locale—Las Nietas approaches the exhibition much like an album tracklist, cycling through organic materials and the sound of rapid beats, rhythmic rap songs, and natural melodies to archive nature’s vibrations in the midst of displacement caused by the legacy of colonialism and the current climate crisis. A centerpiece of the exhibition is the premiere of a new film, FOODTOPIA: en el suelo áspero, set in Rome and reflecting on subjective experiences of food in the memories and histories of its actors. The exhibition as a whole can be read as a set of discursive platforms that reflect on issues of ecology, land, food autonomy, and to strategize about modes of survival and recovery.

Las Nietas de Nonó will perform within the exhibition on the following dates:

Thursday, October 27, at 7pm
Saturday, October 29, at 1pm
Sunday, October 30, at 7pm

Artists Space is pleased to present a special commissioned performance by Las Nietas de Nonó. As part of their solo exhibition Posibles Escenarios Vol. I LNN, the artist collective will stage a series of interwoven theatrical activations.

A chair and desk face a white wall which has a grid of cards in varying colors on it. A notebook, stacks of cards, and pens are on the desk.
Las Nietas de Nonó, el flow oculto de agua / the hidden flow of water, 2022, cards, QR codes, desk, chair, notebook, pencils, colored markers, quote by Audre Lorde; Dimensions variable. Photo: Filip Wolak [A chair and desk face a white wall which has a grid of cards in varying colors on it. A notebook, stacks of cards, and pens are on the desk.]
A large gallery room
Las Nietas de Nonó, Sala Portal Omi, 2022, dried vegetable leather, 3D animation, video landscapes, ambient sound, LED lighting, linoleum floor; Dimensions variable. Photo: Filip Wolak [A large gallery room's walls are painted black, with a black vinyl floor, and white ceiling. Along the walls are yellow and orange LED lighting sculptures that have dried vegetable leather stitched on top of the lights. In the corners of the room three TVs playing animations of rushing water are placed on top of each other.]
A large mirrored pond made of a wooden base with a reflective lining on top is surrounded by three tree trunks, plants, fish tanks, and a phone booth. A large lamp hangs from the ceiling with a metal locker in the back.
Las Nietas de Nonó, Especie: archivo natural, 2022, sounds, lamp, phone booth, phone booth hotline, fish tanks, atmospheric water, yucca, corn, dracaena, snake plant, dragon tree, tree trunks, handmade lyca garments for tree trunks, mirror pond; Dimensions variable. Photo: Filip Wolak [A large mirrored pond made of a wooden base with a reflective lining on top is surrounded by three tree trunks, plants, fish tanks, and a phone booth. A large lamp hangs from the ceiling with a metal locker in the back.]
A large mirrored pond made of a wooden base with a reflective lining on top is surrounded by three tree trunks, plants, fish tanks, and a phone booth. A large lamp hangs from the ceiling with a metal locker in the back.
Las Nietas de Nonó, Especie: archivo natural, 2022, sounds, lamp, phone booth, phone booth hotline, fish tanks, atmospheric water, yucca, corn, dracaena, snake plant, dragon tree, tree trunks, handmade lyca garments for tree trunks, mirror pond; Dimensions variable. Photo: Filip Wolak [A large mirrored pond made of a wooden base with a reflective lining on top is surrounded by three tree trunks, plants, fish tanks, and a phone booth. A large lamp hangs from the ceiling with a metal locker in the back.]
A picture of a gallery space with a phonebooth in the foreground. Behind the phonebooth is a reflective wooden base, and some plants. There is a video projected on a wall in the back of the space.
Las Nietas de Nonó: Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN. Installation view, Artists Space, September 16, 2022 - December 3, 2022. Photo: Filip Wolak [A picture of a gallery space with a phonebooth in the foreground. Behind the phonebooth is a reflective wooden base, and some plants. There is a video projected on a wall in the back of the space.]
Image of a gallery space with a metal locker, mirrored wooden base, and some tree stumps and plants. A large light and construction nets hang from the ceiling, and on the wall in the back a video is projected onto a screen.
Las Nietas de Nonó: Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN. Installation view, Artists Space, September 16, 2022 - December 3, 2022. Photo: Filip Wolak [Image of a gallery space with a metal locker, mirrored wooden base, and some tree stumps and plants. A large light and construction nets hang from the ceiling, and on the wall in the back a video is projected onto a screen.]
Image of two desks, each with a chair, TV monitor playing a video, and clay rocks placed on top.
Las Nietas de Nonó, The page you are looking for is not found, 2022, coconut fiber, copper wire, desks, chairs, security monitors, videos, zinc sheets, clay rocks; Dimensions variable. Photo: Filip Wolak [Image of two desks, each with a chair, TV monitor playing a video, and clay rocks placed on top.]
Three desks are lined up in front of each other, each desktop has a TV monitor and clay rocks. In the back is a dark room with yellow LED light sculptures.
Las Nietas de Nonó: Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN. Installation view, Artists Space, September 16, 2022 - December 3, 2022. Photo: Filip Wolak [Three desks are lined up in front of each other, each desktop has a TV monitor and clay rocks. In the back is a dark room with yellow LED light sculptures.]
Image of the street outside the gallery, looking into an alleyway with a white pillared building on the right with purple light showing behind the windows.
Las Nietas de Nonó: Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN. Installation view, Artists Space, September 16, 2022 - December 3, 2022. Photo: Filip Wolak [Image of the street outside the gallery, looking into an alleyway with a white pillared building on the right with purple light showing behind the windows.]

The afro-diasporic siblings mulowayi and mapenzi are Las Nietas de Nonó. In their creative process, they evoke ancestral memory through personal archives. Their practice incorporates performance, found objects, organic materials, ecology, fiction, video, and installation. In 2016, they created Ilustraciones de la Mecánica, a multimedia installation that was co-commissioned by the 10th Berlin Biennial (2018) and the 79th Whitney Biennial (2019). They have received the Latinx Artist Fellowship from the US Latinx Art Forum (2022), the Rome Prize in Visual Art from the American Academy in Rome (2022), the United States Artist Award (2018), The Art of Change from the Ford Foundation (2017), and the Global Arts Fund from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (2017 & 2020). Their art has been shown in Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, England, Germany, Italy, Norway, Scotland, and the United States. In 2019, they co-founded Parceleras Afrocaribeñas, an organization run by Black womxn, where spaces for environmental and racial justice are created in the face of industrial developments that threaten their barrio of San Antón, in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

For much help, collaboration, and guidance on this project, we thank BKE Kombucha, Mombucha, Laughing Gut Kombucha, Cross Culture Kombucha, East Coast Kombucha Company, 860Kombucha, SouLstice Kombucha Brewing Co., Basie Allen, Rebecca Teich, Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, Emma McClelland, Jasmine Thomas, Maya Hayda, Izzy Bautista, Curie Choi, Olivia Shao, Claire Mckinney, Susan Cianciolo, Matt Wyckoff, Gela Patashuri, Cate Giordano, Aaron Lyns, TXTbooks, Nichole Shinn, Vadim Rabinovich, Amy Parrella and the Department of Horticulture at Bard College, Erin Christovale (Hammer), Vanessa Arizmendi (Hammer), Fatou Kine’ Fall, Yonv Joseph, Giggs Kgole, Jason Prempeh, Valeria Wandja, Timothy Martin, Bleue Liverpool, Nino Malakmadze, Bianca Martins, Nelson Nance, Luis Amed Irizarry, Igor Santos, J. Theodore Peña & Victor M. Martínez of the Palatine East Pottery Project, Claudia Delaplace, Joel ‘Yoyo’ Rodríguez, Proyecto Cabachuelas, Igor Santos, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Elisabeth Skjaervold, Clara Rojas Sebesta, Ramsay Kolber, Parceleras Afrocaribeñas, Proyecto La Conde, American Academy in Rome, Lydia Castro, Adriana Fabiola Rodríguez, Bradley A. Rodríguez, Capri Jones, Zack Khalil, Akeem Sylvester

Exhibition support for Posibles Escenarios, Vol. 1 LNN is provided by Marieluise Hessel.

Support is provided by Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, Imperfect Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.