YES MA'AM PROJECTS

PRESENT   PAST   FUTURE   ARTIST GRANT

SIERRA MONTOYA BARELA: DEATH DANCE AND DAILY BREAD

JANUARY 13 - FEBRUARY 17, 2018

Opening Reception – Saturday January 13, 2017 6:00-9:00 pm
Viewing by appointment only

Part I

The desire to wear masks is primal. They impart power, grant the gifts of the gods, imbue the wearer with prodigious visions. Masks can animate effigies. Sometimes they bring the dead back to life. And then there’s that strange irony of masks, the irony of being oneself as another but never being that being. There is no you-ness in masks. The guise is exultant, a joyous, raucous, dance in the street with no shoes sensation, and our ancestors understood how to both wield this power and yield to it. Much is the same for Sierra Montoya Barela. Inspired by her own ancestry, Sierra’s series explores rites and rituals beginning with the breaking of bread, the daily offering of sustenance and communion.

Part II

Your eyes watch you watching out from inside. At least that’s what you imagine. On the face there are slits, just above the deadspace of inexpression, slots above stone black pupils. Your blinking eyes stare back from beneath the mask, as if floating in the dark below. You know this face. You know this face because its sheen and luster and the way it catches the light, yes, the way it catches the light, is alive. And you know this face because you know that in-mask feel, that feeling of being enmasked: hot breath dampens your cheeks like a summer sweat, lips dewy-touch electrify when they brush against the inward impression of those other lips, muggy warmth excites the nerves on the nape of your neck. You know how it feels to wear a mask.

Yes Ma'am Projects is an independently funded nebulous entity that curates shows and gives away artist grants. The gallery is open by appointment only. Please email yesmaamprojects@gmail.com for inquiries.