Mildred Beltre, "Vanguarded" color pencil and ink, 90" x 88", 2018 Mildred Beltre, "Here I Am," Color pencil and walnut ink, 30" x 22", 2017 Mildred Beltre, "Azabache," silkscreen on cotton, wooden dowels, wooden clothespins, 4’ x 6’, 2017 Mildred Beltre, "Skin in the Game (Double Trouble)" Silkscreen, 22"x30", 2016 Mildred Beltre, "I Feel (Kind)" Color Pencil and Walnut ink, 38"x50", 2017
About the exhibition
Science of the Word
I am a multi-disciplinary artist interested in grassroots, social justice political movements, their associated participants, structures, and how those ideas affect social relations in the intimate situations as well as in a public transformational sense. The work in the sample provided shows text-based works that examine power relationships between individuals, and in a broad sense involve looking at political theorizing and posturing through the lens of the daily human experience.
Rosalind Krauss states in her essay Grids, “Logically the grid extends, in all directions to infinity” she continues, “By virtue of the grid, the given work of art is presented as a mere fragment, a tiny piece arbitrarily cropped from an infinitely large fabric.” In this way of thinking, the grid and the resulting abstraction feels relevant to how we might think about social transformation. It is incrementally expansive and subject to rules that are not completely within our ken.
I create agitprop that references the domestic—blankets, pillows, napkins, drawings that both employ and deploy the language of cross stitch, and quilts—questioning what working toward an equitable society looks like in the midst of daily life, the domestic. Political participation often means taking to the streets, but I am interested in how that happens in the intimate space of the home and the heart. In these works, the visual language of the “handmade” is combined with the digital language of pixelation to complicate and obfuscate the image. Utilizing the visual language of colorful grids that
evoke cross-stitching and quilts, my work abstracts and re-imagines original and found
text. They teeter between abstraction and legibility referencing the simultaneous but
opposing concepts of invisibility and hyper-visibility.
The title for the show comes from Sylvia Wynter’s use of Aime Cesaire term science
of the word which he uses to talk about the relationship of words and nature.
I first encountered the term reading Sylvia Wynter. My main interest in this concept
has to do with the idea that we are shaped by both genetic and cultural codes. These
cultural codes often manifest themselves through words/language.