Exhibitions - Buenos Vecinos

Catalina Schliebener Muñoz
Buenos Vecinos

05.19.24 – 09.22.24

A distorted and stretched image of Donald Duck rendered on a handwoven serape tapestry with parallel motion lines behind him in blue and green.

Catalina Schliebener Muñoz, detail view, "Buenos Vecinos #2," 2023. ​​Naturally dyed wool textile, handwoven in the workshop of Casa González by Mario Gonzalez, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. 85 x 45 in. Courtesy the artist.

In Buenos Vecinos, Catalina Schliebener Muñoz confronts the impact and legacy of two Walt Disney films, Saludos Amigos (1942) and Los Tres Caballeros (1944), which emerged from state-sponsored research trips to South and Central American nations as part of The Good Neighbor Policy. This federal policy aimed to improve the public image of the United States in Latin America following years of imperialism and colonial interventions in the early 20th century. Disney and his team of artists toured Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico to generate visual motifs and storylines for recognizable characters like Donald Duck and Goofy, as well as the creation of new characters, songs, and dances based on national customs and archetypes. 

 

For their solo exhibition, Schliebener Muñoz examines how these films functioned as a form of soft power, enlisting children’s media towards the economic and geopolitical interests of the United States. Through installation, textile, sculpture, collage, and large-scale mural works, the artist subverts the reductive and exoticized representations of Latin American cultures to question how these forms of caricature and othering served to further exploit and infantilize the relationship between North and South America. Schliebener Muñoz also contends with Disney’s depictions of gender, sexuality, race, Indigeneity, and class by fragmenting and reconfiguring imagery from the films and associated books to create new spaces and narratives of resistance. Buenos Vecinos uses mirroring, queer coding, ambiguity, and humor to challenge the boundaries between the spectacular and grotesque, human and animal, natural and synthetic, real and fictional.

 

Buenos Vecinos is curated by Lindsey Berfond, Assistant Curator and Studio Program Manager.

 

Catalina Schliebener Muñoz (b. Santiago, Chile, 1980) is an In Situ Artist Fellow at the Queens Museum. They earned a Bachelor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Universidad de Arte y Ciencias Sociales (ARCIS; Santiago, Chile). Schliebener Muñoz has exhibited their work internationally, including solo shows at Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2024), Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, New York, NY (2022, 2016); Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA (2021); Centro Cultural de España, Santiago, Chile (2011), among others. They have shown in recent group exhibitions at the National Academy of Design, New York, NY (2023); Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York, NY (2022, 2021, 2018); Children’s Museum of Manhattan, New York, NY (2022); Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY (2021), among others. Schliebener Muñoz is the recipient of an Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Fellowship from the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2018) and a Queer Artist Fellowship from the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (2017). They are an educator with extensive experience from early childhood to undergraduate education, and currently facilitate gender and sexuality trainings for the Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY). Schliebener Muñoz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Supporters

The In Situ Fellowship is made possible in part by lead support from the Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Ford Foundation.

 

The Queens Museum is housed in the New York City Building, which is owned by the City of New York.

The Museum is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Mayor Eric Adams, the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne E. Adams.

Major funding is generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Jerome Foundation, MacMillan Family Foundation, Mellon Foundation, E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, New York Community Trust, Lambent Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.