Run, Run, Run Like the Wind, 2023
March – May 2023
Miami-based artist Edison Peñafiel’s nine large-scale, fantastically-colored banners use lyrics from Latin American protest songs from the 1960s and 70s including Victor Jara’s “El Aparecido” and “Run run se fue pa’l norte” by Violeta Parra, to activate MOCA’s Plaza.
This installation tells a story of migration, and the push and pull of leaving behind what’s known for a new, uncertain future. The figures on the banners are carrying luggage or are on the move, running to a new destination. And at their ankles are wings, invoking the ancient Greek god Hermes, who is known as a protector of travelers.
The banners also feature different phrases that reference songs, idioms, and the experiences of refugees. And as a way to connect with and represent the demographics of immigrants in Miami and South Florida, the artist has expanded the language on these flags to include Haitian Creole. As these flags move through the wind, they tell a story of people’s movements from one home to a new one and the experiences of that motion including hope, fear and all that is in between.
El que no corre vuela
Córrele que te van a matar
Y tuvimos que salir volando
Aprendimos a correr con el viento
Run Run se fue pa’l norte
Por aquí por aquí por allá
Run Run siguió su viaje
Vole wo vole wo pijon
Kouri Kouri Kouri
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Edison Peñafiel is a Miami based artist who bears witness to the experiences of those on the underside of the world’s major conflicts: the migrant, the laborer, the surveilled. His work combines sculpture, photography, animation, and video to create immersive installations. These spaces reflect the realities we participate in and witness every day.
Peñafiel uses his camera to capture groups of characters that move through physical and digital worlds, often trapped in looping video scenes that underscore the cycles of history. Because the characters are brought to life using motifs from German Expressionism and magical realism, they are able to transcend any specific time, location, or group of people. They stand in as universal communicators of human struggle.