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Las Hermanas Iglesias, Lisa Iglesias and Janelle Iglesiasfree

American, 21st century, female.

Active in Gainesville (Florida) (Lisa Iglesias) and in Southern California (Janelle Iglesias).

Lisa Iglesias born in Queens (New York); Janelle Iglesias born 1980, in Queens (New York).

Collaboration and performance artists.

Hybridity, social participation, cultural fusion.

Together Lisa and Janelle Iglesias make up Las Hermanas, an artistic collaboration between two sisters. While working on their master’s degrees at different institutions, Lisa and Janelle would often send artworks to one another as a form of visual communication. Often the other would add onto the piece sent and their long distance visual dialogue became a way for them to collaborate and think of artmaking in new and challenging ways. Though each sister has her own independent art practice, they come together as Las Hermanas to collaborate, creating works that explore their relationship as sisters and their relationship to the cultures and communities that surround them.

The heart of their collaborative works began with their Sibling Rivalry series. The series began with a few simple competitions to settle differing opinions on their collaborative projects and quickly developed into a video art practice. For example, their video, The Suitcase Contest, shows the sisters competing to see who could put on all the clothes they packed for a month-long residency the fastest.

Their combined practice often produces works that are interactive and performance based. A piece they presented at the Queens Museum of Art, a museum they frequented while growing up, was titled Everybody Likes to Dance. This work included a dance floor with hand-painted instructions to a dance. The choreography as created by the artists, who fused together movements from a dance they learned from Norwegian artists with a Dominican dance taught to them by their father. The artwork also included a dance track that spliced together traditional dance songs from both Norway and the Dominican Republic. The piece invited visitors, especially those in the local community, to join together in song and dance during their visit to the museum.

For their artworks, the sisters often love to travel and experience different cultures and communities around the world. Instead of works that require them to spend a great amount of time in a studio, Las Hermanas craft pieces that will lead them throughout the cities they visit. For example, Lost Glove was a work created while visiting Paris. The artists would wander throughout the city in search of single gloves that had been lost and forgotten. They would then create a matching sculpture, or re-creation, of the glove to make a pair.

Although Lisa and Janelle live in different states, the sisters continue to collaborate. In works created since 2017, Las Hermanas continue to address issues of division within communities and how people can transform their relationships in a positive way to break down barriers.

Group Exhibitions

2009, Queens International 4, Queens Museum of Art, New York

2012, re/spond/re/peat, Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn

2013, Superreal, El Museo del Barrio, New York

2015, Working Women: 36 Contemporary Women Artists, Colby-Sawyer College, London

2017, Home Bodies, Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio

Solo Exhibitions

2010, Drawn Together, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, San Jose

2011, Rival Rousing, Six_a Inc, Tasmania

2017, RE:SISTERS, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe

2017, HERE, HERE, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City

Bibliography