Dueñas de la noche presents the 1982 documentary TRANS for the first time in the United States. A ground-breaking depiction of a group of sex workers in Caracas, sourced from the archive of documentarians Manuel Herreros de Lemos and Mateo Manaure Arilla at ISLAA, this exhibition includes photographs and ephemera from the film’s production. The photographs—taken for the women in exchange for their participation in the documentary—show how the protagonists of TRANS creatively embodied their dreams alongside the realities of sex work, violence, and urban architecture. The exhibition explores these women’s stories, their strategies of survival, and their personal aspirations as valuable to trans history, present struggles, and queer futures.
Dueñas de la noche is curated by Omar Farah, Lucas Ondak, Clara Prat-Gay, Andrew Suggs, Micaela Vindman, and Clara von Turkovich, with generous guidance from Mariano López Seoane and support from the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA).
Dueñas de la noche results from a graduate seminar at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) supported by ISLAA, which advances scholarship and public engagement with art from Latin America. The course at CCS Bard is part of the ISLAA Artist Seminar Initiative, which supports seminars for graduate students. These courses focus on living artists who participate as visiting lecturers. At the end of the course, students produce a public-facing exhibition, working to expand art historical narratives and provide a platform for emerging arts professionals.