Rosary Solimanto is an artist who lives and works in Jersey City. She is best known for her interdisciplinary activist based work which explores the objectification she faces battling multiple sclerosis. She encourages discourse on disability identity to unfold to empower the disabled. Solimanto is an emerging artist who has exhibited in New York City, New Jersey, North Carolina, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Hudson Valley, Toronto and Spain. She has performed in the O + Festival in Kingston, NY, the Itinerant Festival at the Bronx Museum and did a 12 hour durational performance at the Nuit Blanche Festival in Toronto.
Alive, Photograph from Rondout Creek, Kingston performance. “In this performance I recreated the day I regained the ability to walk from high dose chemotherapy while inpatient at Chicago Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I awoke after three days of high dose methotrexate, to find I could move my limbs again. I got up from my bed, grabbed the IV pole I was attached to and skipped along the stem cell transplant floor. I rejoiced at being able to move again, although I was still disabled and under biomedical infrastructure and regime. A transformation of space occurs with my art, as the performance venue becomes the hospital, and the audience the guests entering my patient room.”
Alive, Photo at the Itinerant Festival at the Bronx Museum
Alive, Photograph from O+ Festival in Kingston, NY
A site specific outdoor performance filmed on the boardwalk of Rondout Creek located in Kingston, New York.
Weight. Inspired by orthopedic braces for feet, work boots, and Frankenstein’s boots. The forged steel boots are lined with brown suede to depict the lower socioeconomic status one may face being on disability based income from health condition(s).
Weight, 12 hour Interactive Durational Performance in Nuit Blanche Festival, Toronto, CA
Rise of the Cyborg. Rise of the Cyborg, originates from undergoing an autologous stem cell transplant, where medical infrastructure and biomedical engineering would be creating life where there was almost death. A performance to create a reality consisting of grotesque powerful imagery relating to and about disability identity. Inspired by the comparison of the “monster” from Frankenstein coming to life and undergoing a stem cell transplant.
The performer stood on the small steel platform for two hours to withstand and depict the physical and mental pain involved in hospitalization, the spectacle of monstrosity and analyzation of abnormalcy. A transformation of space occurs, as the performance venue becomes the hospital, and the audience the guests entering my patient room.
Rise of the Cyborg. Installation at Central Booking Gallery in NY, NY
Methotrexate. This piece explores a re-enactment of the time I was in-patient at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. I lost my hair from high doses of methotrexate (chemotherapy) administered for the experimental stem cell transplant I underwent, in attempt to “cure” multiple sclerosis. I was inpatient for 22 days and became a prisoner to the hospital, corporeal body, and mind, as well as an experimental lab rat to the doctors. My life was confined to a small cubicle of space that became my refuge as well hell.
Waking. Performance encompassing how disability affects not only the afflicted, but the caregiver as well. This piece inspired by previous memoirs when my son assisted with alleviating spasticity, by being carried and or moved. At the time I felt incarcerated by my corporeal body, biomedical treatments and my mind. I derived the movements from times of caregiving, in which I re-created an endless loop of contemporary dance between the role of the caretaker and the disabled. Since I felt no performer could re-enact these times, my son James Conklin became the performer in this piece.