This week, we welcome artist Maya Ciarrocchi, a New York-based interdisciplinary artist working across media in drawing, printmaking, performance, video, installation and social practice. Through personal narrative, storytelling and embodied mapmaking, her projects excavate disappeared histories as in “Site: Yizkor,” where architectural renderings of destroyed buildings, maps of vanished places, historical Yizkor books and audience contributed writings become sources for exploring the physical and emotional documentation of loss.
In addition to her studio practice, Ciarrocchi has created award-winning projection design for dance and theater including the Tony award-winning Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit.” Ciarrocchi is the recipient of a 2021 grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and 2020 BRIO Award winner from the Bronx Council on the Arts. For more of Ciarrocchi’s work, check out her Instagram page and website.
The biblical story of Yael is one of survival and vengeance and she has been represented in art across many centuries. By superimposing her body over a meticulously drawn map, the artist reframes this power and harnesses it to explode boundaries that have been arbitrarily delineated by conflict and war. Ciarrocchi created “Yael” in the summer of 2019 when the Trump administration issued a new round of policies that allowed it to indefinitely detain migrant families who crossed the US/Mexico border illegally.