Magda Fernandez: "Through Immigrant Eyes"

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Microscope is very pleased to present an online screening of video works by Boston-based artist Magda Fernandez.

The program includes a selection of 13 short videos made by Fernandez between 2006 and 2020 offering a comprehensive look into her videography. In these works, often conceptual and resting on her reflections on her own identity as a Cuban-American, the artist performs in various disguises and roles against moving-image backdrops of original or found footage.

Fernandez arrived in Queens, New York from Cuba as a child. There she found herself often stigmatized and facing ethnic slurs in public. At the same time, at home she was grappling with the racist behavior of her formerly privileged, authoritarian parents. The deepening sense of displacement and lack of belonging she felt is reflected in her works such as the 2019 “mi maleta latina” featuring an old, open suitcase containing a series of photographs from the artist’s family album.

In several works such as “colonial blindness” (2011-2015), “sangre podrida” (2017) and “to my 5th great-grandmother” (2018), all stemming from discoveries the artist made about her Cuban ancestry through DNA testing and genealogical research, Fernandez gauges her position within the long-standing history of racism and persecution of her native country, as well as within her family lineage. In an interview with writer Silvi Naçi, the artist explains, “To eliminate racism, you have to look at your own family history of racism, acknowledge that you were born into that, and make sure that you’re not repeating those horrors. It means looking at your ancestral past.”

While Fernandez likes to immerse herself within green-screen worlds of her own making, in “through immigrant eyes” (2018) she reverses the paradigm by projecting the views from her uncle’s 8mm travel home movies onto a portion of her body. During her childhood in Queens, New York, those images represented the only places she could visit, via the magic of cinema.

Fernandez will be joining us via live chat for a Q&A with the online audience at 8:45pm ET, following the program.


A “WATCH NOW” link will become available at Passes for viewing can be purchased then, giving full access to the video program and live chat.

General admission $7 (Valid through April 30, 7:30pm)
Member admission $5 (Valid through April 30, 7:30pm)


Magda Fernandez is a Cuban-born, Boston-based artist who has been making experimental videos since 2006. Fernandez creates silent, mostly diaristic videos that question power and oppression, reality and fantasy, and memory and history. Fernandez’s videos received the Los Angeles Experimental Forum’s Best Experimental Short Award and Audience Award (2018), Venezuela’s 5 Continents International Film Festival’s Best Video Art Award (June 2018), the International New York Film Festival’s Silver Experimental Award (2018), the London Independent Film Awards’ Best Experimental (October 2017), and additional Honorable Mentions in the LA Underground Film Forum (2018) and the Experimental Forum (2018). Fernandez’s videos also were a Semi-Finalist in FilmArte Madrid (2019), and Official Selections in the London Experimental Film Festival (2020), Chile’s Santiago Independent Film Awards (August 2019), the Dumbo Film Festival (March 2019), the Queens World Film Festival (2019), the South Film and Arts Academy Festival in Chile (2018), and the Sydney World Film Festival (2017). Her videos have been exhibited at the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, in “Nine Moments for Now” at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at Harvard University, in “STAND UP” at Kayafas Gallery, in “[email protected]” at Samson Gallery, and in “La Cubana y El Cubano” at the Copley Society. In 2010, Fernandez was invited to present her videos-in-progress at Ute Meta Bauer and Joan Jonas’ Art, Culture, and Technology Lectures Series: “The Theatrical/The Performative/The Transformative” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For her past artwork, Fernandez has received grants from the Council for the Arts at MIT, and was a finalist for both the Cintas Foundation Fellowship and Creative Capital Visual Arts Grant.



Monday, April 27, 2020 - 19:30
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