Andy Warhol Foundation Grant To Support Three New Works at EMPAC

Production still from "Dicen que cabalga sobre un tigre" by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz. Photo: Sarah Griffith/EMPAC

July 14, 2020

Andy Warhol Foundation Grant To Support Three New Works at EMPAC

$50,000 grant will support projects by Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American women artists

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a $50,000 grant to support three new works of time-based visual art by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Clarissa Tossin, and Ana Navas. 

“Through the diverse and interdisciplinary works that EMPAC produces, Rensselaer continues to operate at the forefront of global discourse around time-based arts and technology,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson.  “We appreciate this support from the Warhol Foundation for the groundbreaking research and curatorial work of EMPAC, which contributes to our campus culture of intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global view.”

The Warhol Foundation grants focus on serving the needs of artists by funding the institutions that support them. In total, 47 arts organizations nationwide will receive $4 million in support of scholarly exhibitions, publications, and visual arts programming, including artist residencies and new commissions.

The projects that are part of the curatorial program at EMPAC are commissioned by Vic Brooks, the senior curator for time-based visual art. They are produced through residencies at EMPAC with the support of the production and curatorial staff, and they will premiere at EMPAC in 2021.

Ana Navas is a Venezuelan-Ecuadorian artist. Her new work of performance and moving images, Cuando las nubes eran las olas (When clouds were waves), has been commissioned in collaboration with the Calder Foundation. It is focused on Alexander Calder’s Acoustic Ceiling in the Aula Magna auditorium on the campus of the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. The sculptural ceiling for this architectural landmark was produced in the 1950s in collaboration with architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva and MIT acoustic engineers Bolt, Beranek & Newman.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The artist’s new moving image work Dicen que cabalga sobre un tigre (They say she rides a tiger) entwines the linguistic structure of Monique Wittig’s iconic 1969 feminist novel Les Guérillères with the material and social history of the Caribbean. It visualizes the ecstatic potential of a near-future, non-binary world order through the struggles of its protagonists to imagine a new sort of sensorium — an autonomous language of post-colonial and post-patriarchal society. Animated by a shifting cast of collaborators from music, performance, art, and poetry, Dicen que cabalga sobre un tigre is being produced in Puerto Rico and at EMPAC, the theatrical infrastructure of which forms the backdrop to the feature-length film. 

Clarissa Tossin is a Brazilian artist based in Los Angeles. Her moving image work Mojoq che bixan ri ixkanulab/ Antes de que los Volcanos Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing is currently in production at EMPAC. The soundtrack is scored by Brazilian composer Michelle Ágnes Magalhães and performed by Mexican flautist Alethia Lozano Birrueta and Guatemalan Maya poet Rosa Chávez. The film takes a sonic approach to architectural borrowings by Western architects, such as the textile block houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, of indigenous Mayan cultural motifs, utilizing 3D-printed replicas of Maya wind instruments from Pre-Columbian collections held in U.S. and Guatemalan museums.

About the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $218 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit