Francisca Benítez’ (b. 1974, Chile) work expresses a permanent sensibility and analysis of the relationship between human beings and their environment, be it natural or urban. After training in the field of architecture, her practice began to evolve around the study of public space and the forces that shape it, using the mediums of video, photography, drawing and performance. In recent years, her work has evolved into a more direct interaction with the public, creating performative actions that subvert established boundaries creating unexpected areas of coexistence, interaction and dialogue.
“Son en Señas”, her contribution to the last Havana Biennial, is is a collective creation that explores the poetics of Cuban Sign Language, the work develops from a week of classes, exercises and experiments carried out with the National Association of the Deaf of Cuba. Through this work Benitez attempts to manifest the possibilities of art to create cultural and interdisciplinary bridges and develop a participatory piece where people can be part of a collective creation retaining their individual freedom. Public presentations took place on May 22, the opening day of the biennial, at the Wifredo Lam Center, and on May 25 at the National Art School. A video of the process is installed at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, La Habana, Cuba on view from May 22 until June 22, 2015.
She lives and works in New York since 1998. Recent solo exhibitions have been featured at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, New York (2014); Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago, Chile (2013); Die Ecke, Santiago, Chile (2011); and Nada.Lokal, Vienna, Austria (2009). Notable group exhibitions include the current Mapping Brooklyn, Brooklyn Historical Society and BRIC House, Brooklyn (2015); Efemérides, Museo Histórico Nacional, Santiago, Chile (2014); Thinking and Speaking, Galerie Nordenhake (Stockholm, 2013) The Street Files, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2011); L’œil sur les rues, Parc de La Villette, Paris (2011); and Contaminaciones Contemporáneas, Museu de Arte Contemporánea da USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the current Havana Biennial, Cuba (2015), the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Portugal (2013) the Beijing Biennale, China (2009); and the LA Frewaves 10th biennial of film, video and new media, Los Angeles (2006).