In the Presence of Absence

“In the Presence of Absence – José María & Ike” (video still)

In the Presence of Absence
by Allison Maria Rodriguez
multi-channel video installation, ongoing (2017-2021)


Artist Statement:

In the Presence of Absence is a multi-channel video installation exploring the intimate, yet collective, experience of ecological and cultural loss embedded in contemporary reality. The piece merges two primary conceptual concerns of my artistic practice: my Latinx identity and environmental conservation. It is a very personal work. Through merged representations of the hybridity of my Cuban-American identity, deceased family members, extinct animal species, and climate change, I endeavor to create a series of new pictorial spaces. These spaces are fantastical landscapes in which past and present, memory and fantasy, known and unknown, the cultural and the ecological, converge to gain simultaneous visual actualization. The work navigates between worlds and draws attention to the abyss – the lack or emptiness we encounter when we are disconnected from another species or distanced from our own culture– and the acts of appreciation and mourning that work to keep collective memory alive.

In the Presence of Absence
video installation documentation
The Fitchburg Art Museum, Feb – Sept. 2020
video documentation by Stewart Clements



In the Presence of Absence
video installation documentation
Fitchburg Art Museum, Feb – Sept. 2020
photos by Charles Sternaimolo


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In the Presence of Absence
video installation documentation
Smack Mellon, Jan – Mar 2021
Images courtesy of Smack Mellon
photos by Etienne Frossard


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In the Presence of Absence
video installation documentation
Fitchburg Art Museum, Feb – Sept. 2020
photos by Julia Featheringill



above: In the Presence of Absence – Mora & Ivan, (video still)

In the News:

Land Akin at Smack Mellon” (exhibition review), Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art,  Sophia Ma, Feb 2021

Your Concise New York Art Guide for January 2021” (image featured), Hyperallergic, Art, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Jan. 13, 2021

“Fitchburg Art Museum Explores Mortality and Remembrance with After Spiritualism”, (image featured/work reviewed), The Boston Art Review (print magazine), Daria Semco, Issue 5, Summer 2020

Artists Delve into Death, Loss and Hope in Fitchburg Art Museum Exhibition“, Worcester Magazine, (image featured, interview), Nancy Sheehan, Mar. 7, 2020

At Fitchburg Art Museum, revisiting Spiritualism and finding new pathways to the dead”, (image featured), The Boston Globe, Cate McQuaid, Feb. 21, 2020

Inquiry: Lisa Crossman, Imna Arroyo and Allison Maria Rodriguez“, (podcast interview), 90.5 WICN Public Radio , Mark Lynch’s “Inquiry” program, Feb. 13, 2020

Artist’s Mourn and Remember in Fitchburg Art Museum’s “After Spiritualism“, (image featured), WBUR’s The ARTery,  Pamela Reynolds, Feb. 6, 2020

At the BCA, an Artist’s Show-Stopping Video Ties Personal Loss to Ecological Disaster” (work referenced in title, image featured), Cate McQuaid, Sept. 25, 2019. You can see a jpeg of the print edition here