Delfina Foundation presented de montañas submarinas el fuego hace islas (from the underwater mountains fire makes islands), an exhibition exploring the intersection of imagination and emancipation.


Delfina Foundation alum curator Yina Jiménez Suriel brings together work by five artists — Adjoa Armah, biarritzzz, Vitória Cribb, Duto Hardono, and Thaís Espaillat Ureña — in an articulation of her long-term and multi-format investigation into the expansion of imaginaries.


Yina's research posits that across history, communities around the globe have sought to expand the human perceptual system in the pursuit of emancipatory imaginaries, employing various — and often common — aesthetic tools and strategies. Her project seeks to trace the presence of such tools and strategies within contemporary practices, considering their effect on our bodies and on our ideas of what is possible. Among the tools she has identified to date are repetition, fugue, and transmutation — which form the focus of this show. In this context, “repetition” is understood as the performance of a certain action several times with the intention that there will be a slight change each time. The concept of “to fugue” is based on the reflections of the thinker Dénètem Touam Bona, for whom “fuguing” isn’t the escape itself, but chasing away what is real and making infinite variations to evade any kind of capture.

Finally, “transmutation” is understood as a long-exposure process that creates a disruption in subjectivity. The works brought together in this exhibition, spanning video, performance, and a newly-commissioned sound installation, can be seen to experiment with and through these tools — contributing to as well as complicating and adding tensions to the wider hypothesis of the project.


This exhibition is a manifestation of the wider research project by Yina Jiménez Suriel that began in 2019 and formed the basis of her residency at Delfina Foundation in 2022. To date, the project has taken the form of screenings, publications, events, and exhibitions, including at Pivô in São Paulo, at Cinemateca Dominicana in Santo Domingo, and now concurrently at KADIST San Francisco and Delfina Foundation, before expanding to Manilla later this year.