Cecilia Cornejo presents solo show at Rochester Art Center

The show, titled “H O M E ~ exploring, mending, reimagining,” features a multimedia body of work composed of quilts, audiovisual collages and participatory artworks.

28 June 2022 Posted In:
A person holds up a crotchet replica of Cecelia Cornejo's mobile art piece,
The Wandering House in downtown Northfield, 2019. Photo by Sergio Demara '20.Photo: Sergio Demara

Cecilia Cornejo, lecturer in cinema and media studies at Carleton, currently has a solo show at Rochester Art Center titled “H O M E ~ exploring, mending, reimagining.” The exhibition features a multimedia body of work composed of quilts, audiovisual collages and participatory artworks that Cornejo has produced since 2019 with community members in Northfield and Lanesboro, Minn.

One of the highlights of the exhibition, the Northfield Sonic Quilt, is a digital replica of the Northfield Community Quilt, also on view, which Carleton students Valentina Guerrero Chala ’24 and Chisomnazu Oguh ’23 created for the show.

The Wandering House, another part of the show which also appeared in downtown Northfield’s Bridge Square in summer 2019, will offer an opportunity for Rochester residents and visitors to speak candidly and privately about their understanding of home and the hopes they have for their respective communities.

“The house is like a modern-day confessional,” explains Cornejo. “You go in alone. While there is always someone outside ready to help and answer questions, inside the house it’s just you.”

Participants record audio only and are not asked to identify themselves by name. If participants prefer not to record their voice, they have the option to complete a written questionnaire and leave it in the house’s mailbox.

“This is about creating a welcoming space for introspection and for re-learning how to listen,” says Cornejo. “Similar to the act of ice-fishing, The Wandering House searches for the bounty that lies below the surface.”

Cornejo is a documentary filmmaker, artist and educator engaging rural communities in southern Minnesota in a multilayered exploration of home. Locally rooted yet globally minded, she examines notions of belonging and the immigrant experience while exploring the traces of historical trauma on people and places. Her experience growing up under dictatorship in her native Chile led her to develop an artistic practice that encourages community members to reflect in order to envision and generate paths toward collective wellbeing.

Along with a group of volunteers, Cornejo will be collecting stories and testimonies related to “home” from visitors to the Rochester Art Center from 1-4 p.m. on July 7-9 and 14-16. Cornejo will also offer an artist talk and tour of the gallery spaces on July 9 as part of a free family day of activities celebrating the exhibition.