Gina Goico – 2022 Cornell Biennial


Feat. Visiting Artist Patricia Encarnacion

Sou / Venir

Space + Installation Arts

“Sou / Venir”

What does it mean to have a souvenir? What memories and signifiers does it carry about one’s existence in a certain time/space? In contemporary times we might think about souvenirs as little trinkets we will get in tourist markets at ports or cities, but some souvenirs carry a weight, both physically and spiritually, that holds a history before a globalized economy that when analyzed beyond the personal relation to the object of the collector, expose politics of place, displacement, occupation, and extraction.

Sou / Venir looks at the mantelpiece on top of a chimney in the Guerlac room at AD White House. I explore this mantel as a record, a cadaver, and the afterlives of the time and place from where it was retrieved. The Society for the Humanities webpage states that “The fine mahogany mantelpiece, with the name ‘Samana’ across its face, is a souvenir from White’s stay in the fishing village of the same name in Santo Domingo in January of 1871 when he was a member of the commission President Grant sent to study the island’s annexation.” The mantelpiece’s history gets reduced to a sentence that minimizes a political tension that continues to echo in the current nation of the Dominican Republic. It becomes an object that commemorates a moment during a white man’s exploration. What does it mean to us, the people of the Dominican Republic currently living in Ithaca? What is our relationship to place/displacement, occupying this land, often beyond our choice? What is the relationship with the history of Cornell’s former presidents and their involvement in the US government through Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine?

Gina Goico


Visiting Artist Patricia Encarnación

Patricia is an Afro-Dominican Artist, who explores the idea of being from the Caribbean through reconstructing the quotidian objects, landscapes, and aesthetics she was exposed to while growing up in her homeland (the Dominican Republic). Her work intends to dismantle impositions of social roles and biased history by showcasing their effect on herself and her surroundings.

Encarnación began her BFA education in 2009 at the School of Design Altos de Chavon, receiving an AAS in Fine Art two years later. She continued her studies in the Communication Art program, getting her associate degree in 2012. After getting a full-tuition scholarship, in May 2014, she completed her degree at Parsons The New School of Design, New York. Later she participated at The Centro Leon Jiménez Biennial and won the prize awarded by the city of Cadiz for cultural immersion. A couple of years later she participated in multiple residencies with institutions like MuseumsQuartier Vienna & Kovent Catalonia. In 2018, Encarnación was selected again to participate at The Centro Leon Jiménez Biennial, winning the special nomination by the French consulate in Martinique. Encarnación is currently based in New York and had completed the MA program in the Caribbean and Latin American Studies at NYU in 2021.

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