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Desi Santiago

Desi Santiago is a Puerto Rican visual and performance artist based in New York City. Santiago’s work is inspired by the relationship between the subculture of the New York City nightlife scene and the fashion and fine arts worlds. His performance pieces similarly reflect this aesthetic theme, in their focus on the dual ritual of mourning and celebration. His large-scale installations often serve as a theatrical platform for his exploration of the body as “host” for experience and identity.

Santiago received an MFA from Bard College. His work has been exhibited at the Matthew Marks Gallery, MoMA PS1, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museé des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and Art Basel Miami Beach.

For Anxious Spaces: Installation as Catalyst, nightlife subculture explorer Desi Santiago presented Mummy Procession, an installation and performance. Santiago created a massive fallen idol, an all-white mummy with mirror eyes and flowing hair. The decapitated head lay in Knockdown's great hall until the time of its grand procession came, at which point the ceremonial parade through the property began, costumed attendants following the ghostly head float in its wake.

Anxious Spaces: Installation as Catalyst

A group exhibition in which six installation artists engage a space beckoning with desire and opportunity. Knockdown Center's cathedral-like complex, with its breathtaking expanse, mysterious sub-chambers, surprise annexes, and hidden pockets, is a dream environment for site-specific and installation art. In addition, these works incorporate dynamic and time-based elements ranging from robotic interactivity to performance events to social intervention. Taken together, the architecture and the artworks transform the space into a surreal bazaar of curiosities for the adventurous. Opening June 15th, from 2-6pm. Special artist talk/tour at 5pm. The exhibition is open every Saturday and Sunday, from June 15 to July 6, 2-6pm. Click HERE to find out about the July 5th Performance Festival!
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Anxious Spaces: Performance Festival

A celebration of artists using installation work as a platform for performance, featuring Raul de Nieves, Christian Joy, Hisham Bharoocha, Brian Chase, Desi Santiago,and more.
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Anxious Spaces, Artist Interviews

Artists Christian Joy (soft sculpture), Ben Wolf (welded parasite), and Hisham Bharoocha (drum circle) in conversation on site at the Clocktower's Anxious Spaces exhibition at Knockdown Center. On view June 15-July 6, 2014. This program is posted in three parts so listeners can advance quickly to select an artist segment using the player navigation menu. Anxious Spaces is a group exhibition in which six installation artists engage a space beckoning with desire and opportunity. Knockdown Center's cathedral-like complex, with its breathtaking expanse, mysterious sub-chambers, surprise annexes, and hidden pockets, is a dream environment for site-specific and installation art. In addition, these works incorporate dynamic and time-based elements ranging from robotic interactivity to performance events to social intervention. Taken together, the architecture and the artworks transform the space into a surreal bazaar of curiosities for the adventurous.
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Anxious Spaces: Desi Santiago, Mummy Procession

A recording from within Desi Santiago's massive Mummy sculpture as it serpentined through Knockdown Center, on the occasion of the Anxious Spaces Performance Festival. Costumed attendants followed the ghostly head float in its wake.
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