Collage of photos of Magdalena Campos-Pons performing

FEFA performance by Campos and Leonard at the Guggenheim Museum, 2014. Photo by Toshiki Yashiro.

IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture / María Magdalena Campos-Pons

Performance date: May 14, 2016 | 4:00 P.M.
Great Hall, FREE

María Magdalena Campos-Pons works with her husband, saxophonist and composer Neil Leonard, to reinsert the black body into historical narratives. Under the name FEFA, they use personal stories, music and procession to evoke both protest and devotion.

IDENTIFY pulls back the curtain of time to acknowledge those who are missing from the museum’s historical collections. Wealth, class, race, and gender often determined who could have a portrait made in the 18th and 19th centuries – this performance art series strives to make visible the invisible.  Each artist selected critiques American portraiture and institutional history by making visible a body or bodies that historically have been forgotten.  Dorothy Moss, associate curator of painting and sculpture, is the curator of IDENTIFY.

Support for the IDENTIFY performance art series has been provided by the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center; an anonymous donor; the Philip and Elizabeth Ryan Fund; the Director's Visionary Fund; the Marc Pachter Fund for Commissioning; Carol and John Boochever; The Skanby + Gould Foundation; and other individual contributors.

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons in costume performing in the Kogod Courtyard

    View of "IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture / María Magdalena Campos-Pons." Photo by Paul Morigi. 

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons in costume performing in the Great Hall

    View of "IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture / María Magdalena Campos-Pons." Photo by Paul Morigi. 

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons in costume with others in costume, performing in the Kogod Courtyard

    View of "IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture / María Magdalena Campos-Pons." Photo by Paul Morigi. 

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons in costume as Abraham Lincoln in the Hall of Presidents

    View of "IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture / María Magdalena Campos-Pons." Photo by Paul Morigi.