No Hiding Place Down Here
August 20 – October 12, 2017
Seattle Presents Gallery
Opening reception Thursday, September 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
No Hiding Place Down Here is a multi-media installation by Cuban-born artist Tatiana Garmendia. Partnering with documentary photographer Scott Story, who recorded unsanctioned homeless shelters in and around Seattle, Garmendia created a sculptural tent built entirely out of screen scrim which dominates a temporary encampment situated inside the Seattle Presents Gallery. Because scrim material appears opaque when unlit from behind, the structure promises an illusion of privacy that visually dematerializes with the with the projection of documentary images through it. A soundscape intermingles Garmendia’s recollections of her experience with homelessness with street sounds and snippets of music. The dialogue pierces between layers of the tent and its surroundings – between its solid appearance and temporal disappearance, between private and public space, between personal testimony and environmental input – and parallels the complexity of the interactions between people experiencing homelessness and the city.
No Hiding Place Down Here is part of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Homelessness, a four-exhibition series in which artists and artist teams develop artistic projects on the topic of homelessness. Each two-month exhibition in the City of Seattle’s Seattle Presents Gallery will demonstrate artists thinking expansively about what shelter and stability mean to diverse populations, and examining the systemic causes of homelessness.
Tatiana Garmendia was born in Havana, Cuba, after the Bay of Pigs incident, and remembers a period of homelessness when she left her country as a refugee. A child of revolution and failed promises, she is moved by archetypal narratives embedded in cultural legacies and private fantasies. Her interdisciplinary work is figurative, meditating on national and private histories, on the stories we tell others and whisper to ourselves. Known for creating narratives that fall between fact and fable, the artist slips in and out of identities, recounting her dedication to them in sculptural interventions, then lets them go. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and abroad. She has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Art in General, and Stux Gallery in New York. Among the European galleries where Garmendia has shown are the Milan Art Center in Italy, Castfield Gallery in England, and the Galeria Riesa Efau in Germany. Her works are in public collections in New York, Miami, Illinois, California, Ohio, and the Dominican Republic.