Laura Anderson Barbata: Transcommunality

September 19 – November 21, 2014


The Ruth Davis Design Gallery will present Transcommunality, an exhibition documenting the work of Mexican-born, New York-based artist Laura Anderson Barbata; focusing on the decade-long project she pursued with stilt-walking communities in Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Brooklyn. Her project highlights the vitality of the moko jumbie stilt walking tradition and demonstrates the possibility of using this storied art form as a platform for social contemporary performance, group participation and protest. Spanning from 17 feet tall to just 11 inches small, the works presented in the exhibition range from textile-based to sculptural objects, as well as photographs, videos, and projections that document the collaborative projects.

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Design Gallery events are free and open to the public.
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Special Events

Fiesta! Gallery Opening Celebration Sunday, September 28: 3-5 pm, Artist Talk 2-3 pm
Join our opening celebration featuring the music of Afro-Peruvian Jazz band, Golpe Tierra and a special performance by Madison stilt walkers! View Latin American, Caribbean, and West African objects from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. Stop in earlier to hear a lecture by artist Laura Anderson Barbata about her artistic work and her upcoming Spring 2015 UW Arts Institute Interdisciplinary Arts Residency.

Madison Open Gallery Night Friday, October 10: 5-9 pm
Come enjoy the gallery for extended hours including a performance at 6:00pm by the Madison Stilt Walkers!

These events are made possible by the support of:
Arts Institute, Design Gallery of the School of Human Ecology, The Anonymous Fund, Latin American Caribbean and Iberian Studies, and Madison Children’s Museum

Selection of Exhibition Pieces

Moko Jumbies

Intervention: Wall Street, 2011
Digital Film
Editor: Turquoise Films

Laura Anderson Barbata

Cheeseball Queen, 2007
24-layer lenticular print on aluminum
Collaboration with Stefan Falke


El Señor de Aztlán, 2008
Textiles, CDs, thread,
yarn, fiber glass, aluminum, and polycarbonate
Textiles courtesy of Victor Group

Barbata 3

Happy Suit, 2008
Recycled textiles and thread
Textiles courtesy of Victor Group



About the Design Gallery

Each academic semester the Design Gallery organizes a major curated exhibition related to a design topic followed by showcase installations of Design Studies student creative work at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

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All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are funded entirely by competitive grants and private donations. Help us keep our programs free and accessible to the public through a gift to the Design Gallery Exhibition Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
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More questions?

Please call 608-262-8815. You can also email Design Gallery.