“Portals” marks the first solo museum project for New York– and Richmond-based multidisciplinary artist Guadalupe Maravilla (b. San Salvador, El Salvador). An installation comprising newly commissioned sculptures, “Portals” responds to the artist’s geo-cultural displacement and personal mythology, referencing his own story as part of the first wave of undocumented children to arrive in the United States due to the Central American conflicts of the 1980s. While touching on this personal dimension, “Portals” also addresses current collective anxieties that stem from the fraught political crisis at the United States-Mexico border.

“Portals” features a group of powerfully sculptural, wearable headdresses that incorporate gongs used in vibrational therapy. These objects, activated through a series of participatory performances, will transform the gallery into a therapeutic instrument intended to cleanse unseen political phobias. As the artist reminds us, the human body is mostly made of water and responds to vibrations caused by sound. The sounds produced in “Portals” will affect the viewer’s nervous system, operating as a healing vibrational treatment that washes away anxieties and breaks up blockages.

Maravilla is currently assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. He has exhibited his work and performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Performa 13, New York; Nicaragua Biennial, Managua; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City; New Museum, New York; La Mama Gallery, New York; Hudson Valley MOCA, Peekskill, New York; Exit Art, New York; Rush Arts Gallery, New York; Bronx River Art Center; Jersey City Museum; Centro Cultural de España, Mexico City; Museum of Art of El Salvador, San Salvador; Saud Haus, Berlin; and the Caribbean Museum, Barranquilla, Colombia.