PAMMTV’s inaugural launch highlights five video artists in the permanent collection of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Los Carpinteros (founded 1992, Havana), Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi), Luis Gispert (b. 1972, Jersey City), Sandra Ramos (b. 1969, Havana), and Youssef Nabil (b. 1972, Cairo) each employ distinct cinematic strategies to create engaging, experimental narratives.
Popular culture, exile, isolation, grief, and loss are approached in powerful ways by these artists. Ramos’s _Acuario _(2013) is a short animation that explores the artist’s childhood memories of the Cuban public school system. Water, in this work, is used as a narrative trope for the physical isolation of Cuban citizens, while in Mutu’s video Amazing Grace (2005), water across the Atlantic is framed as a both a site of destruction and rebirth.
Gispert, Nabil, and Los Carpinteros use movement and dance as the driving narrative force behind their respective works. In Gispert’s video Block Watching (2003), he cleverly choreographs an all-American cheerleader blinged out in jewelry, lip-synching and moving to the sounds of an extended car alarm. Nabil’s I Saved My Belly Dancer (2015) is a sumptuous meditation on the disappearance of the Middle Eastern artform of belly dancing. Inspired by the golden age of Egyptian cinema, Nabil’s cinematic spectacle explores the fluctuating perception of women in contemporary Middle Eastern society––a conservative shift that also threatens an Indigenous art form. Similarly, Los Carpinteros’ Conga Irreversible (2012) consists of a traditional Cuban street procession known as a comparsa. Performed along Havana’s famous Paseo del Prado, musicians sing inverted melodies and dancers parade in reverse toward the oceanside Malecón to critique the inexorable forward march of history.