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In her exhibition “I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift,” artist Joiri Minaya continues her “Containers” series, which looks at the female subject in relation to tropical landscapes. Curated by Corrine Y. Gordon, the installation is on view at Camera Club of New York’s Baxter St venue through September 30.
Fueled by her own experiences growing up in the Dominican Republic, Minaya made a Google search of “Dominican Women” in 2015. Noticing the repetition of specific poses in correlation with the search, the artist came to the idea for “Containers,” a unique portrait series capturing women in landscape environments that have been altered by a man. Minaya’s models are posed to mimic the plants, wearing head-to-toe bodysuits customized to look like tropical flora, drawing connections between the ways nature and femininity have both been exoticized, tamed, and idealized throughout time.
“I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift” moves beyond photography to include video, text, and for the first time, collage. The show has been named from a line in one of Minaya’s original scripts, written during the formative process for the exhibition, highlighting the audience’s role as an active viewer while the subjects take on the role of performer.
The show includes works installed atop coordinating wallpapers, like Body of Water, where the camouflaged subject in the ocean appears to be a floating object instead of a person; Ayoowiri / Girl with poinciana flowers, a collage in which the subject is partially cropped out of her own figure; and the bikini-clad woman whose face and body have been replaced with a tropical print, Woman-landscape (On opacity) #4.