Recetas y Gangas: The Essex Street Market Recordings

An audio-installation by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga
Curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful


On view: December 18 through December 19, 2016; 12-6 pm
Location: Exterior of Essex Street Market at 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is very pleased to present Recetas y Gangas, a temporary audio installation by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga on the exterior of Essex Street Market on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Over the last decade, Zúñiga has recorded the calls of vendors, particularly those from traditional Latin American markets, threading together the sounds of various products being sung into the air into compositions that modify the experience of space. The resonant sounds of vendors’ voices begin to extend the interior of the market out onto the street to create a completely new sense of familiar spaces.

For this installation Zúñiga has created an audio composition featuring the voices of the Essex Street Market vendors and customers describing their products or sharing recipes. The audio montage will be emitted by an amplified speaker located above the Delancey/Essex Subway station, on the exterior of the Essex Market, emulating the traditional selling strategies used by market vendors to beckon pedestrians into the market. The installation honors both the long history of market vendors announcing, singing or “chanting” their goods to the public, as well as Essex Street Market’s original intention as a space to house street cart vendors.

Recetas y Gangas was first conceived by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga at the invitation of curator Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful for the exhibition Lettuce, Artichokes, Red Beets, Mangoes, Broccoli, Honey and Nutmeg: The Essex Street Market as Collaborator (Cuchifritos Gallery, on view February 26 through March 27, 2016). During this show, six socially conscious artists—Laia Solé, Antonia Pérez, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, Mary Ting, Beatrice Glow, and Harley Spiller— were invited to engage vendors, customers and the Market itself in their artistic processes as a means of co-generating experiences centered on the life that unfolds outside Cuchifritos Gallery. The participating artists and their collaborators brought to the forefront issues relevant to their respective trades and roles, while paying attention to the narratives as well as to the material culture that their presence in the place spawns as a result of their encounters.

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Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga approaches art as a social practice that seeks to establish dialogue in public spaces. Having been born of immigrant parents and grown up between Nicaragua and San Francisco, a strong awareness of inequality and discrimination was established at an early age. Themes such as immigration, discrimination, gentrification and the effects of globalization extend from highly subjective experiences and observations into works that tactically engage others through populist metaphors while maintaining critical perspectives. Over the past several years, Ricardo has established a practice based in research and investigation leading to the final presentation. This is a practice that utilizes whatever media possible to present the content in a manner that may generate interaction and discussion by others.

Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful treads an elusive path that manifests itself performatively or through experiences where the quotidian and art overlap. During the past seven years Estévez Raful has received mentorship in art in everyday life from Linda Mary Montano, a historic figure in the performance art field. Montano and Estévez Raful have also collaborated on several performances. He has curated exhibitions and programs for El Museo del Barrio, the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, the Center for Book Arts, and Longwood Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts, New York; and for the Filmoteca de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain. Publications include Pleased to Meet YouLife as Material for Art and Vice Versa (editor) and For Art’s Sake. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, in 2011 Estévez was baptized as a Bronxite; a citizen of the Bronx.