Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor at AFH

Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor, Freedom and the African Diaspora
Andrew Freedman Home | 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452 | Friday, April 26, 2019 • 7-9 PM

Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor, Freedom and the African Diaspora converses with Fabiola Jean-Louis: RE-WRITING HISTORY: A Black Ancestral Narrative. This immersive experience expands from the Andrew Freedman Home galleries to the Grand Ballroom, Library and Billiards Room with video sculpture, projection mapping, wearable art, music, poetry, performance and dance.

The event honors Ezili Dantor, a figure associated with the Black Madonna, the Infant Jesus and self-liberated African slaves. Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge employ religious symbols to investigate the meaning of freedom, drawing further connections between black culture in the Caribbean and the United States.

Primary Colors:
Yelaine Rodriguez
Melanie Gonzalez
Benton C Bainbridge

Havanna Fisher

Maria J Hackett
Ilanah Naamah
Isabella Jackson

Nia Fields

Kaila Bulé

Wilson Lantigua

Music Director:
José “Dr. Drum” Ortiz

Sunny Cheeba

Thank you:
Eileen Jeng Lynch
Wave Hill
Materials for the Arts
Paul Caro
Walter Puryear
Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council
Beth Venn
Elena B. Hall
Raison Rivas
Justin D. Johnson
Fabiola Jean-Louis


Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge is the Bronx-based collaborative of Yelaine Rodriguez, Melanie Gonzalez and Benton C Bainbridge. The artists make mixed media, installations and performances at the intersection of wearable art, performance art and media art. The Bronx-based collaborative has shown at American Museum of Natural History’s One Step Beyond, Wave Hill, and Longwood Gallery. Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge exhibited the video painting Ezili Dantor with Andrew Freedman Home at Art Decentralized – The World of Distributed Masterpieces, in conjunction with Art | Basel Miami 2018.

Yelaine Rodriguez is an Afro-Dominican-American Artist, Educator, and Curator; recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship in Wave Hill 2018 and a Fellow from the Caribbean Cultural Center of the African Diaspora 2017. Her work has been exhibited at Rush, Longwood Art Gallery, The Clemente Gallery, BRAC, Wave Hill, Centro Cultural de España, & Centro Cultural Leon Jimenez biennial in the Dominican Republic. Melanie Gonzalez is an interdisciplinary Photographer and Video/Film Artist. She has shown works at venues such as Soho Playhouse, Medianoche New Media Gallery & Digital Film Studio, Concourse House, The Clemente Gallery, Bronx Music Heritage Center, Kinfolk 94, DROM, Secret Project Robot, and others. Benton C Bainbridge creates media art, performances, and installations with custom digital, analog, and optical A/V systems. Bainbridge applies the frameworks of music, dance, plastic arts and decentralization tech to moving pictures. He has a “high touch” approach to media art; Bainbridge’s artworks are handmade pixel paintings.

Havanna Fisher is an interdisciplinary artist from Harlem who works across the fields of design, performing arts and film. Havanna blends fashion, dance and moving images with education to foster holistic approaches to humans living life as a collective in peace.

Wilson Lantigua is an Afro-Latino Feminist man who has dedicated his work to the preservation of the Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba culture at the same time promoting gender equality and self identity. As a founding member and lead Primo Drummer of BombaYo, his goal is to help you engage in Afro-Latino traditions for self healing.

Bronx native José Ortiz, aka Dr. Drum, is a performer and educator in Pan-African, Caribbean and Latin culture and is a self-taught percussionist of AfroCaribbean rhythms. For twenty years, he has been an activist, organizer and educator of Afro Puerto Rican Bomba, a traditional music and art form which was brought to the Americas by the African slaves.

Sunny Cheeba’s diverse record collection reflects the pulse of her Bronx, New York heritage. For her, collecting records has become much more than looking for the perfect beat, but a way of preserving our rich culture and history. Sunny founded Uptown Vinyl Supreme; a DJ collective that pays homage to the analog roots of music, party and dance culture.

Nia Fields has been featured in photography installations such as Goodness Graceous!, Ezili Dantor, Freedom and the African Diaspora, and as a new age urban version of queen Nefertiti. She’s hosted television segments for NYC Life. Nia also has a passion for film production, digital marketing, and motherhood.

Documentation shot and edited by:
Patricia Encarnación


Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Maman Brigitte, 2018 (detail)Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Maman Brigite in Cuba, 2018

Yelaine Rodriguez with Melanie Gonzalez, Alexandra Muñoz, Benton C Bainbridge: Maman Brigitte in Cuba
in Swing Forward While Swaying Back
Longwood Gallery | 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451 | October 3 – December 5, 2018
Finissage and Performance: December 5, 6 to 8 PM

In this group exhibition curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley, six Bronx artists envision alternate futures through collaborative installations that provocatively and poetically challenge their audiences. Yelaine Rodriguez continues her series of wearable artworks and collaborations with Melanie Gonzalez, Alexandra Muñoz and Benton C Bainbridge with another painterly video portrait of the loa. Maman Brigitte was shot in Cuba by Muñoz and performed and edited by Gonzalez with image processing by Bainbridge. Rodriguez, Gonzalez and Bainbridge will perform real-time media remix of the work with Gina Goico as Maman Brigitte for the closing reception on December 5 between 5:30 and 8:30 PM.


Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor, 2018

Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge in Art Decentralized at Art | Basel Miami BeachDecember 6, 2018

Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge premiered Ezili Dantor, a digital video portrait of the Haitian loa. Andrew Freedman Home Creative Director Walter Puryear presented four works by AFH Artists in Residence and speak on the Digital Art & Collectibles Panel in this conference presented by Light Node Media for Miami Art Week.

WATCH: Ezili Dantor at Miami Art Week: Art Decentralized


Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor at Wave Hill, 2018 (installation view)

Yelaine Rodriguez with Melanie Gonzalez and Benton C Bainbridge: Ezili Dantor, Freedom and the African Diaspora: We are here, because you were there
Wave Hill Sunroom Project Space | W. 249 St. & Independence Ave, Bronx, NY 10471 | September 8-October 21, 2018

New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellow Yelaine Rodriguez creates an installation of wearable art, video and photography-a project developed during Wave Hill’s 2018 Winter Workspace. A Bronx-based, Afro-Dominican-American artist, Rodriguez sources syncretic religious traditions found in African diasporic communities, such as Voodoo and Santeria, to conceptualize wearable art and costume design. These are activated when worn by people whom she imagines to possess the characteristics of specific deities in a performance video. Her project features Ezili Dantor, a figure associated with the Black Madonna, the Infant Jesus and self-liberated African slaves. Rodriguez employs religious symbols to investigate the meaning of freedom, drawing connections between black culture in the Caribbean and the United States.
Organized by Eileen Jeng Lynch.

WATCH: Ezili Dantor at Wave Hill


Yelaine Rodriguez with Melanie Gonzalez, Benton C Bainbridge, and DadaCoz: Yemaya at American Museum of Natural History's One Step Beyond

Yemaya Activation at American Museum of Natural History,
One Step Beyond 10th Year season finale, 2017
“Yemaya: ‘We Are Here, Because You Were There'”
Media art and Performance collaboration with Yelaine Rodriguez, Melanie Gonzalez, and Benton C Bainbridge.

Performed at the American Museum of Natural History, NY, NY at the 10th Year Season Finale of One Step Beyond.

Live Video Projection Visuals by Melanie Gonzalez with original footage from The Bronx, Dominican Republic, Haití and Nevada.

Photo by Mr. Ayobe

Performer – Dada Coz
Concept and Costume Design – Yelaine Rodriguez
Live Video Projection Visuals – Melanie Gonzalez Art
Media Design – Benton C Bainbridge
Makeup Artistry – Laura Moya Beauty

Installation presented at:
with TOKiMONSTA, Obey City, and Photay, June 2017.

Film produced by MGA Studio:
Director / Editor – Melanie Gonzalez
Documentation – Mr. Ayobe
Live Image Processing – Benton C Bainbridge
Additional Image Processing – Enayet Kabir
Consulting Editors – Pablo Gonzalez, Jacqui Kuraj
Sound Design – Pablo Gonzalez
Engineering / Mixing – Bars Young Black
Song “Beacon Demo” – Val Inc.

Watch YEMAYA: “We Are Here Because You Were There”, Activation at One Step Beyond at AMNH