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Laura Anderson Barbata

Portrait, Laura Anderson Barbata. Photo: Jake Holler

Born in 1958 in Mexico City, Laura Anderson Barbata is a transdisciplinary artist, performer, writer, and educator who lives and works between New York and Mexico City. Since 1992 Anderson Barbata has worked primarily in the social realm, initiating projects in the Venezuelan Amazon, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway, and the United States. Among them is the ongoing The Repatriation of Julia Pastrana, begun in 2005, which resulted in the removal of the project’s titular figure’s body from the Schreiner Collection in Oslo, Norway and its successful repatriation and burial in Sinaloa, Mexico, Pastrana’s birth state. The project continues with Anderson Barbata’s production of related artworks, publications, zines, and performances.

Anderson Barbata is also known for her project Transcommunality (2001-present), presented in collaboration with stilt dancers, artists, and artisans from Mexico, New York, and the Caribbean. Transcommunality has been staged at various museums, schools, and other public spaces both as exhibitions and performance “Interventions.” Among them are Columbia University, New York (2023); The Watermill Center, Water Mill (2021); Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans (2021); MUCA Roma, UNAM, Mexico (2020); BRIC Arts | Media House, Brooklyn (2019); The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. (2019); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2017, 2018); Rutgers University, New Brunswick (2017); United Nations Plaza, New York (2017); University of Wisconsin, Madison (2015); Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Mexico (2012, 2016); The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2008); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007).

Installation View, Laura Anderson Barbata: Singing Leaf. Photo: Olympia Shannon
Archive X, 1998/2023, handmade abaca paper bundles with inclusions from the New Testament in Spanish, Ye´Kuana, Yanomami, Ashuar, Maya, and Quechua languages on bamboo structure, unique installation dimensions variable. Photo: Olympia Shannon.
El miedo no anda en burro (autorretrato), 1998/2023, honey wax, mirror, sticks, and stones, unique, 15½ x 7 7/8 x 6 in. / 39.4 x 20 x 15.2 cm. Photo: Olympia Shannon
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  1. […] Laura Anderson Barbata recently closed an exhibition, Singing Leaf, at Marlborough Gallery. Something of a retrospective, the work in the show comes from time spent in the Venezuelan Amazon with the Indigenous Yanomami, Y’Kuana and Piaroa communities with whom she collaborated. To learn more, listen to the complete interview. […]


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