Curator in Residence, Mariana Muñoz Gomez on Transmissions

Current Curator in Residence at WAG-Qaumajuq, Mariana Muñoz Gomez has spent the last year preparing to launch an ambitious new exhibition. An artist, writer, and curator, Muñoz Gomez is deeply connected and engaged in the Winnipeg arts community.

Some of their activity in Winnipeg has included curation at window winnipeg, and work with various collectives including Sappho Zine, Carnation Zine, and Mujer Artista. Throughout Muñoz Gomez’s time at the Gallery, they have developed and refined their thoughtful, intentional, and community-minded approach to curation.

Curatorial practice and artistic practice walk hand-in-hand for Muñoz Gomez. “Right now, my artist statement talks about themes or topics that I’m interested in, like time (or temporality), relation, place, language, and coloniality, (another way to think of that is the impacts of colonialism),” says Muñoz Gomez. “I’m interested in all of those topics throughout time and history as well. That statement can describe my curatorial practice and my creative practice overall.” It’s in the intersections between these topics that Muñoz Gomez lives. “Learning about these things through art can teach us so much about the world that we live in now, and the world in the past and in the future,” says Muñoz Gomez.

The exhibition, Transmissions, explores the production and passing on of embodied knowledge. When asked how they decided to focus on embodied knowledge, Muñoz Gomez isn’t sure exactly where the idea came from. “I was reading for an hour every day as a part of my work day, and for me that was really energizing, to think about new ideas,” says Muñoz Gomez. “So through the reading I was doing, the artwork I was looking at, and some artists that I was interested in, the theme started coming together.”

Just what is embodied knowledge? It’s a little difficult to define, but it has to do with how the body knows things. This is in contrast to academic knowledge or theory, which often is knowledge that is stored and generated in the mind. “One thing about embodied knowledge is that it is often so much part of our everyday that it’s kind of hard to pinpoint what’s happening,” says Muñoz Gomez. Embodied knowledge is created and passed on through lived experience and relationships, and it is understood intuitively or through practice.

This difficulty in definition is part of why an art exhibition may be a helpful way to understand and explore embodied knowledge – there is more openness and room for interpretation and connection to an artwork, room for ambiguity and self.

“It’s really such a privilege to be able to spend time with these things that are interesting to me and learning new perspectives and about different embodied practices,” says Muñoz Gomez. Transmissions, opening July 8 and running until November 20, is the exciting culmination of those thoughts.

Mark your calendars for the opening celebration of this show and Esmaa Mohamoud’s To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat on July 14.

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