[Miami, FL] Locust Projects presents ule ole allez, a new site-specific installation by Ecuador-born, Bronx-based artist Ronny Quevedo that honors the passion for play found in Miami’s Caribbean, Central, and South American soccer and futsal communities. ule ole allez is one of three new exhibitions opening at Locust Projects in the Design District with a public reception to Meet the Artists on Tuesday, November 29, from 7-9pm.
As an extension of Quevedo’s drawing practice, the artist has invited local players to activate the gallery on November 20 and 21 by playing futsal matches with chalk and ink covered balls. As a form of collaboration their play and movements will be captured through marks left behind on the gallery’s walls and floors creating an accumulation of color and action. The gallery floor presents a colorful, abstract field as a space for creative expression through a sports game in which players add to the existing markers of futsal and soccer. Creating a vestige of community action, ule ole allez presents a new development in Quevedo’s creativetrajectory with an exhibition that conflates drawing and sculpture through physical interactions with the gallery and the viewer by inviting Miami’s soccer community to participate in its creation.
A series of small drawings and sculptures accompany a new video work that foregrounds play as a transformative and empowering act of migration and movement. Filmed in advance of the installation, Quevedo interviewed former Colombian national team player Luis Carlos Perea about his Coroncoro Soccer Club and Valentina Simon, commissioner of the all female AGC League, to gain insight into their experiences in establishing leagues in Miami. Overlaid with footage of other local leagues, Quevedo’s video pays tribute to the notion of duality and adaptability as part of play and starting a fresh in a new city. Combined, the live matches, floor drawing, and new works serve as a metaphor for the collective migrant experience.
For Quevedo, the experience of displacement is defined by adaptation, memory, and transformation. The defined movement of sports echoes this adaptability. Games like futsal enable a subversive transformation in players, freeing them from oppressive societal rules and expectations. By centering sports, Quevedo invokes an architectural and narrative space where boundaries are malleable, limits are negotiable, and competition is a generative force for evolving identities.
Quevedo first became interested in the parallels between play and migration after reflecting on his experience playing in indoor soccer leagues—operated by migrant Latin American and Caribbean communities—in New York City.Establishing a connection between physical actions and inheritance and memory, the artist explains that “The act of passing—passing down, passing on, passing the ball—offers generative contemplations of my points of origin.” The passion for futsal in Haitian, Central, and South American communities in Miami is significant and complements the artist’s own experience in New York City. This connection is reinforced by the threat of gentrification to the sites for this ritual of play. ule ole allez honors the contribution of play and ritual in these communities by recording their engagement with the space and its impact in the development of contemporary fields of sculpture, drawing and printmaking.
The effect of relocation and displacement generates works about adaptation, memory and transformation. The movement and action within sports is a metaphor for an insistence on survival and constant adaptation. This use of play is a subversive transformation to the rules and capabilities placed upon people when the conditions of a society become oppressive. By incorporating games I invoke an architectural and narrative space – where boundaries are malleable, limits are negotiable and competition is a generative force for evolving identities.
The parallels between play and migration generate from indoor soccer leagues in New York City. Played on weekends at local public schools, these leagues are coordinated and operated by migrant Latin American and Caribbean communities. The questioning of inheritance and memory are conceptual markers in my practice. The act of passing – passing down, passing on, passing the ball – offers generative contemplations of my points of origin. My focus is the dialectic of nomadism and cultural production as complemented by the Edouard Glissant’s ‘Poetics of Relation’. He emphasizes the influence of the periphery onto central forms of culture. He claims that the margins offer a new understanding of the ‘center’. My biography echoes this concept having been born in Ecuador, raised in The Bronx (a pre-dominantly Caribbean and Black community at that time) and determining my own identity as a migrant in relation to those who have similar experiences of displacement.
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