Medicina de Amor (Love Medicine) is a solo exhibition of recent work by Gerardo Dexter Ciprian. Working with archival material, hand-me-down objects, oral histories and folklore, Ciprian mines the ephemera of the Dominican diaspora and broader immigrant imaginary as a source of wisdom, mystery and resilience.
At once personal and allegorical, the exhibition draws on a vast wealth of personal stories, riddles, and superstitions the artist has archived over the years as well as objects and images with special significance in the Dominican immigrant imaginary. Jabon de cuaba—an iconic soap in D.R. used for everything from washing your body to cleaning dishes—is reconstituted into ghost doubles of bricks from the artist’s Bronx childhood home; hand-me-down furniture passed down from the artist’s grandparents is transformed into lanterns that seem to magically light themselves, a reference to the prevalent blackouts in the Caribbean nation. The works are never circumscribed to any one time and place, and often play on a tension between opacity and legibility—a proxy for the indeterminacy of the shifting ground beneath migration and the inevitable fading of intergenerational memory.