Nao Bustamante & Marcus Kuiland-Nazario: Prim@s

February 04, 2016 - March 05, 2016


Nao Bustamante + Marcus Kuiland-Nazario

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 4, 6-9pm

Artist Talk:  Saturday, February 6, 2-3pm

In tandem with the College Art Association (CAA) conference in Washington, DC, Transformer is pleased to present Prim@s, an exhibition featuring a selection of works pulled from Mexican history and popular culture by Nao Bustamante and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, two international artists based in Los Angeles, CA.  This is Nao Bustamante’s first exhibition in Washington, DC, and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario’s second exhibition in Washington, DC. His first, Sacred Chores, a series of durational, interactive performance installations, was presented at Transformer as part of our 2005 Touch & Go performance art exhibition series.

Nao Bustamante’s Soldaderas deploys a methodology she calls ‘speculative re-enactment’, creating multi-media works that hover over the line between fact and fiction, past and future, looking at women soldiers in the Mexican Revolution. Through her work, Bustamante engages with soldaderas (Spanish for ‘female soldiers’) as imagined figures, examining how the character has been historically romanticized and idealized through song and on the silver screen. Bustamante asks, “How can we reach across time to know the soldadera’s experience of the past? How do we bring her into the here and now, to experience her future? “

Soaked in musical memory and beaded nostalgia, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario’s Maxi Kitsch is a series of ‘refabulized’ vinyl records and souvenirs exploring personal histories and object attachments through 1970s Latin American music and Mexican culture. Kuiland-Nazario expands: ”My parents have always been obsessed with Mexico, and travelled there often, bringing us back trinkets, and gifts. I have been bewitched by the power that foreign objects can hold since childhood. While living in Mexico as an adult, my studio started to fill up with objects and records and they just started dancing together, resulting in what is now the Maxi Kitsch series.”

Artist Bios

Nao Bustamante is an internationally known artist residing in Los Angeles, California. Bustamante's precarious work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. She has exhibited, among other locales, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sundance International Film Festival, Outfest International Film Festival, El Museo del Barrio Museum of Contemporary Art, First International Performance Biennial, Deformes in Santiago, Chile and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. In 2014/15 Bustamante was the Queer Artist in Residence at UC Riverside and in 2015 she was a UC MEXUS Scholar in Residence preparing for a solo exhibit at Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. Bustamante's video work is in the Kadist Collection. Bustamante currently holds the position of Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

For information about upcoming exhibitions and events, please see: For past work, see:

Marcus Kuiland-Nazario is an artist, curator, producer, and veteran of the LA art and performance scene. Kuiland-Nazario is a founding artist of Viva! (the nation's first Latino Gay and Lesbian Arts Organization), The 18th Street Arts Center, Highways Performance Space, and Clean Needles Now.  He curated Pop Tarts - Los Angeles’ longest running performance laboratory for 14 years. His performance works have been included in national and international festivals, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, England; the Centro de Bellas Artes, in San Juan, Puerto Rico and El Patio De Mi Casa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Kuiland-Nazario has been a lecturer and guest teacher at numerous institutions, including Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, Beyond Baroque Literary Foundation, Cal State University, Northridge and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Recently, Kuiland-Nazario returned to the United States after spending time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, co-founding Oficina de Proyectos Culturales, a non-profit contemporary art center.

For additional information about upcoming exhibitions and events, please see

Image Credit: This image is used with permission from the Special Collections & University Archives Rivera Library, University of California, Riverside

EXHIBITION HOURS: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm and by appointment.