About Raquel Du Toit (aka Ixtel)

MFA recipient at Pratt institute, Raquel as a process artist has been installing, making sculptures, photographing and creating interactive performances in London, New York and Mexico. She was a  fellow at the Vermont Studio Center and went to Pacific Lutheran University for Photography. Before moving to New York she collaborated with other artist around London and Seattle to create a non-profit named “What is Art” in which non-traditional art forms were pushed, challenged, and experienced in new ways. Raquel continues to create interactive sculptures, performances and installations in order to remove the white walls of the galleries within her work. She is currently the creative program director at the Lower Eastside Girls Club and continues to curate, create, and cultivate work nationally and internationally. She is the co founder of Luxury Blight a curatorial duo project that creates spaces in which artist can project, create sound and incorporate performance art. 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT:
I work from a perspective of a Mexican American woman who lives between two countries. One that produces; and the other that consumes. I am able to analyze and study the work that connects our society and the production of wealth and time that comes from it. From researching and talking to upper east side maids and their stories to documenting “We Work” space and their contracts with labor disputes I gather information to produce playful items that are fake with a real content.

The uprising of the service industry, exportation of jobs and the global manufacturing of consumer goods are all part of the context within the work. Not only do I use photography as a form of communicating of these dual conflicts but also performance, video and sculpture.

My performances use repetition and fantasy in order to create the surreal experience that is the service industry. Using found products as sculptural elements reflect on mass consumerism and are meant to be used as props, eventually to be returned to the dumpster where they were found. Through this process, videos and images emerge as a comical counter narrative to a service based industry.
Shifting our understanding of reproductive work would incite a change both in how we perceive women and how we commodify labor in general.
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