Pia Camil:
Fade into Black

Pia Camil’s work uses textile, sculpture, and performance to create environments which confront the politics of global consumerism through the language of theater and retail. Recently, Camil has begun to recycle and alter textiles to reflect the larger socio-political forces which inform their production and distribution. In several of her works, hundreds of secondhand t-shirts with wildly different logos are sewn together into massive curtains that illustrate a shared cycle of consumption. Inspired by the open-air markets of Latin America, particularly Iztapalapa in Mexico City, the artist comments on a cycle in which shirts designed in the U.S. are manufactured in Latin America, worn and discarded in the United States, and then sent back to Latin America to be sold again in second-hand markets, where their logos advocate for causes far removed from local culture. Camil engages the relationship between the Global North and South by re-importing these t-shirts once again into the United States as art so that they may, as the artist says, “haunt” their places of origin.

The highlight of Camil’s upcoming solo project includes Fade into Black (2018), a 341-foot-long curtain of found t-shirts being shown in its third iteration at Queens Museum. Fade into Black was first commissioned by SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, followed by inclusion in her solo exhibition titled Split Wall at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK, and now being shown in Queens as a nearly 360 degree viewing experience that will transform the Queens Museum’s central atrium into a place of repose for museum visitors.

Pia Camil (b. 1980, Mexico City) lives and works in Mexico City. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work has been exhibited internationally, with recent solo exhibitions including Telón de Boca, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City (2018), Split Wall, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2018), Fade into Black, SCAD Museum of Art (2018); Bara, bara, bara, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas (2017); Slats, Skins & Shopfittings, Blum & Poe, New York (2016); A Pot for a Latch, New Museum, New York (2016); Skins, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2015); The Little Dog Laughed, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); Espectacular Telón at Sultana Gallery, Paris (2013); Cuadrado Negro, Basque Museum Centre for Contemporary Art, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2013) and El Resplandor at OMR projects, Mexico City (2009).

Exhibitions at the Queens Museum receive significant support from the Ford Foundation. Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Lambent Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.