Patricia Silva

Image:  C-photograph from Essential Work, Portugal series, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.


Introducing Patricia Silva (b. Lisbon, Portugal; lives and works in NYC), one of the artists participating in New Poetics of Labor 2018.


Artist statement:

“A descendant of land-based workers on government subsidy who shaped a living doing multiple weather-dependent, collective activities, I’m aware that managing natural resources for subsistence is a skill I lack. As an immigrant in the U.S. I entered the professional labor force as an art student, using my art-making skills to secure some form of a stable living. Quickly, I understood how conditional labor is, as a form, while remaining a critical component of any class-based system.

For some of us who have been forced to leave rural backgrounds and make a living in urban environments, we have a strangely spatialized sense of labor. Our professional skills, physically and socially, separate us from ancestral lands, from its cycles of life and its possibilities for subsistence and trade. This separation is another form of labor division that reflects social/global displacement among people of limited economic means. From this framework I investigate the social world, and re-organize meanings through visual art.”


Film Still of Patricia Silva's "Mass Swell," 2016, USA.
Mass Swell, 15:00 min, 2016. See more here.

“A historical marker with moments of poetic domesticity, Mass Swell counteracts dominant media narratives surrounding Ferguson protestors. Mass Swell shows the centrality of black women in organizing Ferguson direct actions, the role that local clergy and ministry played in supporting the Ferguson movement, and the on-going political and social power of eyewitness media. By providing a real-time window into the Ferguson movement, footage of this kind highlights how consumer portables in the hands of engaged civilians fills in the gaps between available evidence and dominant narratives.”—World Premiere at DOC NYC.


Patricia Silva
Stories by Patricia Silva.

See more here.




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