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Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya

Skinchangers: Begotten of my Flesh

moCa Cleveland

  • Date Friday, June 28, 2024 - Sunday, December 29, 2024
  • Register Now
moCa Cleveland

Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa) is a dynamic cultural institution that constantly evolves in the city's cultural scene. As a non-collecting museum and the region's sole contemporary art museum, moCa regularly introduces new exhibitions, providing fresh experiences for visitors... more

2024 Toby's Prize Exhibition

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya presents a new body of work in his first solo museum exhibition, Skinchangers: Begotten of my Flesh, opening June 2024. This show expands upon the artist’s 2022 exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters entitled James Webb and the Thestral Born Without a Vertebrae, which shares the story of a vampire forced to reconstitute its body from space debris following the destruction of the last spaceship leaving an apocalypse-ravaged Earth.

A work of speculative fiction, Skinchangers: Begotten of my Flesh collapses linear time, fueling our anxiety of the unfamiliar while demanding reflection on how histories of abuse allow for a future seepage of toxicity. Using expanded polystyrene as a building block (after all, what material other than plastic can survive the end of the world?), Montoya transforms moCa’s Lewis Gallery into the interior of this last spaceship, complete with a celestial soundtrack that draws us into the darkness of the unknown. Mythical, shape-shifting creatures known as Nahuales that hatched aboard the vessel during an eon of astral travel hang from the spacecraft’s ceiling. Hovering in antigravity yet tethered to the ship’s architecture, their eternal home serves as both captor and protector.

These Nahuales are a part of the artist’ cast of characters, cohabitating with their vampiric guardian and the spacecraft’s mainframe, which itself is a sentient being, the beating heart that fuels the vessel throttling through space. Made from detritus of capitalist consumption, vestiges of the sentient, and materials that teeter on the edge of abjection, Montoya’s alchemical creatures feed off each other. They are stand-ins for the human body, used to explore how violence erases and eradicates communities of color. In this future apocalypse, processes of decay, regeneration, and shapeshifting for protection and survival graft new meaning upon our understandings of an “ecosystem.

In addition to the exhibition, Montoya is designing a suite of activities for audience engagement and creating his first publication (available in Fall 2024). He is the third recipient of Toby’s Prize, a biannual award sponsored by philanthropist Toby Devan Lewis (1934-2022) and created to advance the work of emerging artists through exhibitions and publications.

This exhibition is presented through Toby’s Prize, a biennial award made possible by Toby Devan Lewis.

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya

Nearby

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Parks & Gardens

1. Toby's Plaza

< 1 minute walk
Toby's Plaza is a plaza, brilliantly designed by James Corner Field Oper...

Dining

1. Chipotle Mexican Grill

1 minute walk
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2. Otani Noodle

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3. Build the Pho

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4. The Sweet Spot

1 minute walk
Sweet Spot is an established fine dining desserts restaurant, dedicated ...

5. Euro Wafel Bar

1 minute walk
Monday - Friday: 8:00pm - 2:00am

Parking

1. Lot 22

1 minute walk

Dining

1. Capo's Steaks

2 minute walk
TEMPORARILY CLOSED Capo Steaks offers the Best Cheesesteaks west of P...

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