Morir Soñando

Morir Soñando is a curatorial project commisioned by the Knockdown center. The exhibition included work by  Penn Eastburn, Valery Jung Estabrook, Hein Koh, Joiri Minaya, Kristianne Molina, Onel Naar, Esther Ruiz, Cristina Tufiño and Woolpunk.

The show borrows its name from the popular Dominican beverage, which quite literally translates into the expression “to die dreaming.” A frothy iced delight made from fresh orange juice and cold milk, Morir Soñando resists easy preparation and con- sumption. If not made at the proper temperature or mixed incorrectly, the milk can curdle from the acidity of the orange juice. The process of making the drink is a careful choreography that unites two unlikely ingredients into delicious harmony.

The delicate process of making morir soñandos functions as a metaphor to establish relationships between the artists’ diverse use of materials and social commentary. Working across painting, sculp- ture, textiles, and video, the artists address difficult
subjects like racial tensions, gender-based violence, neocolonial trauma, and environmental concerns, but do so in subtle ways informed by their material- engagement. Within the work, fluid lines, pastel colors, and velvety textures are formal cues that ultimately help articulate the potential of radical vulnerability to become a tool for liberation. Firmly grounded in the site-specificity of New York City— a metropolis defined by ongoing cultural exchange and migrations—Morir Soñando is a Caribbean reference that alludes to perspectives far more nuanced than those contained within any single diaspora.