PATRIA Y VIDA
ANTONIA WRIGHT & RUBEN MILLARES
Patria y Vida is a largescale light sculpture that celebrates people’s right to peacefully protest by using the barricade as a symbol of global resistance.
November 17th - December 4th, 2022
A NO VACANCY PROJECT
"Congratulations to artists Antonia Wright & Ruben Millares, the winners of this year's No Vacancy Juror’s Choice Award for Patria y Vida". — FAENA ART TEAM
As Cuban-Americans, Antonia Wright and Rubén Millares (known as artist duo Wright Millares) grew up participating in protests with their parents in Miami and believe public demonstration is one of the most effective means of civic engagement. Patria y Vida is a large-scale light sculpture that celebrates people’s right to peacefully protest by using the barricade as a symbol of global resistance. On July 11th, 2021, many were sentenced to prison after taking place in anti-government protests in Cuba, where unauthorized public gatherings are illegal. These island-wide demonstrations have been the largest in Cuba since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. The phrase Patria y Vida is chanted in the streets and has become an anti-communism anthem for Cubans.
For No Vacancy, Wright Millares have echoed the activist gesture from the Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong, where protestors subverted the use of barricades set out by police and repurposed them to create an insurgent structure for their own protection. For this new sculpture, 24 crowd-control barricades with LED lights are bound together in a disorderly composition to memorialize global acts of nonviolent resistance. Patria y Vida is part of a series of works in which Wright Millares explore the sculptural and symbolic potential of standard steel barricades. Over the last few years, authorities throughout the world have deployed them extensively to contain and control protestors. Wright Millares believe these metal barriers directly evoke anxiety, used as architecture to separate and control bodies in public spaces and limit what should be a global human and civil right to protest. Patria y Vida claims space in solidarity with the perseverance of those who continue to protest worldwide.