Dinorah de Jesús Rodriguez (b. Cuba, 1957) is a Miami-based artist and experimental filmmaker working with expanded cinema, public intervention, installation, and multimedia performance. Often incorporating nature and the outdoors into her work, Rodriguez probes such themes as ancestral bonds, history, ecology, the body, gender, and sexuality. Combining handcrafted 16mm film with video, installation, and performance, her pieces are exhibited internationally in film festivals, museums, galleries, TV, public outdoor installations, and multimedia performances. Known for her multidisciplinary collaborations, Rodriguez has worked with a variety of international artists.
Cementing her commitment to community-based work in public venues, Ms Rodriguez won The 2009 FAN/Knight New Work Award, presented by Funding Arts Network and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in the amount of $50,000 to create, develop and present Elusive Landscape, a series of outdoor film installations presented at five outdoor locations across Miami from June-October 2010. These venues included three neighborhood parks as well as the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Prior to this, Rodriguez premiered a site-specific installation work entitled ephemera at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden during Sleepless Night, 2009 and one entitled ellos y nosotros: them and us, at the Project Room at Hollywood Art & Culture Center in 2010. In 2011, Rodriguez presented sonámbula, a film/video installation commissioned by the City of Miami Beach for presentation at Miami Beach Cinematheque during Sleepless Night 2011. In 2012 she presented agua florida: free-swimming fish, a site-specific indoor-/outdoor multimedia installation commissioned by the Deering Estate for presentation during the 2012 SoBay Cultural Arts Festival. Current projects include mujer_cita_MIA, a series of feminist art videos installed in public women’s rest rooms in Miami, and RUINS, a collaborative work with London-based artist Anita Ponton presented in cafés around the world. In 2014 Rodriguez presented migrants a site-specific multimedia installation inside a shipping container in Honolulu as part of Present Project Hawaii, a project that commissioned 5 artists from outside of Honolulu to produce public installation works in collaboration with the local community.
Rodriguez studied filmmaking with such visionary experimentalists as Barbara Hammer, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Rob Nilsson and the late Warren Sonbert and Marlon Riggs, and earned a B.A. in Film Production from San Francisco State University School of Creative Arts in 1988. She has won prizes at the Big Muddy and Black Maria Film Festivals, and her work has been supported by such organizations as The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Funding Arts Network, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Fundación Valparaíso, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Jentel Artists Residency Program, Visual Studies Workshop, Tigertail Productions, Miami Light Project, San Francisco Festival 2000, and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, among others.
Rodriguez has been a Visiting Faculty Artist in the MFA Program at SUNY’s Visual Studies Workshop, a guest faculty advisor for Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Guest Lecturer at Sweet Briar College, the University of California, and Florida International University. She has served on the selection committees for Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, YoungArts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation’s National Video Resources, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the North and South Carolina Art Councils and Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs.
The artist’s work is held in public and private collections including the Yale University Film & Media Archives, Filmmakers Cooperative in New York, Vasari Project at the Miami-Dade Public Library, Visual Studies Workshop at SUNY, Pacific Film Archive at the Berkeley Art Museum, Girls’ Club Collection in Ft. Lauderdale, and Proyecto Videolab in Coimbra, Portugal, as well other international archives, universities and cultural institutions.
Originally from Cuba, Rodriguez has spent most of her life in various cities within the United States, with periods of extended residence in Latin America and Spain. She currently works in Museum Education at Perez Art Museum Miami and with the Women on the Rise! program at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami where she teaches feminist art history and practice to teen girls in sites such as juvenile detention centers and homeless shelters. In 2000 she co-founded (with artist Michelle Weinberg) Flashlight Project, a mentoring and digital arts education program at sites such as the Bass Museum of Art, the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, Girls’ Club Collection, and others. Rodriguez serves on the Board of Directors for the Miami Beach Film Society and occasionally curates film screenings and moving image exhibitions at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.