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Education[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
Artistic practice[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
In 2014, Rodriguez attended the Shandaken Project Residency in the en:Catskills of New York. In 2015, she was artist-in-residence in the sculpture department at Hunter College. In 2017, Rodriguez collaborated with the Museum of Modern Art to create the Night Studio program, a free art class for New York City residents in the process of taking the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion, formerly the GED). In 2018, Rodriguez was awarded the Percent for Art public sculpture commission to create a permanent public sculpture in the Bronx. Shellyne stated that the sculpture would serve as "a monument to the people of the Bronx." In 2018, the Whitney Museum of American Art released a video by Rodriguez in which she discussed Ja'Tovia Gary's film An Ecstatic Experience.
In 2019, Rodriguez became the inaugural artist-in-residence at The Latinx Project, an initiative based at NYU that is dedicated to Latinx studies. Rodriguez curated a show centered around ideas of displacement and how it affects the Latinx population in New York. The show included pieces by Rodriguez, Alicia Grullón, and anti-gentrification group Mi Casa No es Su Casa.
Selected exhibition history[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
- Siempre En La Calle: Calderón, October 28, 2021 to January 29 2022
- PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity, Latinx Project, NYU, 2019; curator: Shellyne Rodriguez
- BRONX NOW: Bronx River Art Center, July 14 to September 8, 2018; curated by Laura James and Eileen Walsh, who work under the name BXNYCreative
- Tamir Rice Photo Booth: Window Project, IMI Corona, Queens Museum, 2016; curator: Prerana Reddy
Community organizing[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
Rodriguez is a community organizer and an active member of the grassroots collective Take Back the Bronx. In March 2019, Rodriguez joined a group of Latinx scholars, artists, and activists in penning and signing a letter to El Museo del Barrio demanding change at the East Harlem institution.
Rodriguez is a member of Decolonize This Place and spoke at the ultimately successful May 2019 protests against Warren B. Kanders, owner of the defense manufacturing company Safariland LLC and then-vice chair of the Whitney Museum of American Art, seeking to remove Kanders from its board.
Writing[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
In an essay in which she describes herself as a "black Marxist", Rodriguez criticizes the practice of equating identities with "injury" and awarding "immunity" to people with the most identities, calling it a "lazy politics that doesn't require one to do any critical thinking or political work." She argues that "it is a system based on the state's logic of restitution and punishment, and fundamentally opposed to solidarity." What she prefers instead is political organizing and activity.
Legal issues[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
George Floyd protest video[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
According to the New York Post, the NYPD arrested Rodriguez in June 2020 during a protest after George Floyd's death. The charges against her were dismissed in September 2020. Human Rights Watch describes the protest in which she was arrested as "among the most aggressive police responses to protests across the United States following the police killing of George Floyd." The organization found that the NYPD planned the assault and mass arrests of peaceful protesters.
The following year, Rodriguez and two other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the City and members of the NYPD for long-term injuries suffered as a result of the arrest. According to document 49 of the case, on January 25, 2023, Rodriguez requested the identity of several police officers and video recordings from body worn cameras. After a discovery dispute throughout the month of May 2023, the court on May 31 ordered the defendants to identify the officers and produce the video.
Hunter College videos[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
During the Spring 2023 semester at Hunter College, Prof. Rodriguez was teaching a combined section of ARTCR 23500 "04 Painting" and ARTCR 33600 "05 Advanced Painting" which met on Tuesdays from 1:10pm to 4:50pm. The section had a combined enrollment of 16 students (11 in Painting and 5 in Advanced Painting).
During the same semester, Students for Life brought their This is Chemical Abortion tour display to Hunter, which the organization describes as one of the "most visceral college campuses" where campus safety officers are a "welcome presence" and where they make videos of the vulgarity directed at them.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, after pro-life students set up a display in a hallway near Prof. Rodriguez' classroom studio, they recorded her arguing with them and shoving their pamphlets off of a table. In the recording, she said they were "triggering [her] students."
After meeting with two members of the Hunter College administration about the matter, Rodriguez apologized. Not satisfied, Students for Life posted the video to Twitter on May 17, to YouTube on May 18 and to their website on May 18. According to Hyperallergic, Rodriguez began receiving messages filled with "racial and sexual slurs and threats of death and physical violence."
In accordance with Hunter's final exam schedule, her combined painting section's last class session was on Tuesday May 16 and they should have held their final exam on Tuesday May 23.
Meanwhile as the video gained attention on social media, the New York Post published a story about it on May 22. Then the next morning, on May 23, before Prof. Rodriguez could leave home and travel to Hunter College to give the final exam to her students, a New York Post reporter and a photographer went to her home to interview her and take a photograph of her. Rodriguez refused. According to the reporter's own account of the incident, she told them to "get lost." Instead of leaving, they persisted with their request for an interview. They did not leave until she opened the door, pointed a machete at one and told them to: "Get away from my door! Get the fuck away from my door!" Rodriguez then followed the journalists to their car, where the car's cameras recorded her chasing them with machete in hand.
The New York Post published a news article about the incident at 1:45pm. In the article, they quoted a Hunter College spokesperson as saying that the college had "taken immediate action" and fired Rodriguez. At 4:18pm, the New York Post published an article about her civil lawsuit against the City and NYPD officers. And later that evening, when the New York Post reporter appeared on Hannity, studio audience members cheered as host Sean Hannity reported that she had been fired.
The next day, May 24, other news outlets, like the BBC, reported that Rodriguez had been fired from Hunter College following the incident with the New York Post reporters. And on May 25, Rodriguez was arrested on charges of menacing and harassment and fired from her position at the School of Visual Arts.
A petition in support of Prof. Rodriguez drafted by PPOW Gallery co-founder Wendy Olsoff and published by Hyperallergic quickly gathered hundreds of signatures. A coalition petition gathered 1259 signatures. And to support Rodriguez, a committee of artists and educators established a fundraiser which raised $22,000 of its $30,000 goal in its first two weeks.
References[cancia | cancia la surgenti]
- An Incomplete History of Protest: Shellyne Rodriguez on Ja'Tovia Gary (en).
- Rodriguez, Shellyne. Shellyne Rodriguez (en-US).
- Shandaken: Projects | Alumni.
- MFA Program in Studio Art (en-US).
- Zwicky, Calder (2017-11-20). In The Night Studio.
- Shellyne Rodriguez (en-US) (2015-01-25).
- An Incomplete History of Protest: Shellyne Rodriguez on Ja'Tovia Gary (en).
- 9 Art Events in New York This Week: Nari Ward, Jonas Mekas, Judith Linhares, and More (en).
- Durón, Maximilíano (2021-08-18). "New York's Newest Gallery Spotlights Latinx Artists: 'We See the Lack of Representation and the Need for It'" (in en-US).
- Shellyne Rodriguez and Danielle De Jesus: Siempre En La Calle | 28 October 2021 - 29 January 2022 (en).
- PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity.
- Bronx River Art Center :: Gallery :: BRONX NOW.
- Queens Museum (en-US).
- 'We Need Change Now': Activists Circulate Open Letter on Future of El Museo Del Barrio (en).
- "You Can't Hide": Protesters March from Whitney to Warren B. Kanders's Home During Biennial Opening (en).
- The Unbridgeable Chasm Between the Bronx and the Police (en-US) (2017-03-21).
- Rodriguez, Shellyne (June 20, 2019). "Two Readings on Mistaken Identity".
- "Shellyne Rodriguez, NYC college professor who threatened Post reporter with machete, is fired as her lawsuit against NYPD emerges", New_York_Post (May 23, 2023).
- "US: New York Police Planned Assault on Bronx Protesters", Human Rights Watch (September 30, 2020).
- Rodriguez et al v. City of New York et al (Dec 16, 2021).
- Global Class Search. City University of New York.
- Stancavage, Dana (May 18, 2023). VIDEO: Fetusphobic Professor Becomes Unhinged Over Peaceful Pro-life Students on Campus, Destroys Display. Students for Life of America.
- Wharton, Caroline (May 8, 2023). WATCH: Pro-Abortion New York College Student Steals Fetal Model, Chews it Up, & Paints Fake Blood on It. Students for Life of America.
- "The ANGRIEST Pro-Choice Teacher FLIPS OUT At Pro-Life Students : Hunter College". Students for Life of America (May 18, 2023).
- "This Crazed Pro-Abort Chewed On Our Fetal Models!". Students for Life of America (May 5, 2023).
- "Laura Ingraham Slams Crazed Pro-Abortion Teacher". Students for Life of America (May 23, 2023).
- "Hunter College professor arrested after threatening NY Post reporter with machete", WABC-TV / AP (May 25, 2023).
- "Artist Shellyne Rodriguez Charged with Menacing and Harassment After Incident Involving Reporter", ARTnews, Art Media, LLC (May 26, 2023).
- Kim, Chloe (May 24, 2023). "US professor fired after machete threat to New York Post reporter", BBC.
- 'F***ing Propaganda': CUNY College Professor Destroys Pro-Life Table at Hunter College (May 23, 2023).
- "School Fires Arts Professor Who Confronted Anti-Abortion Group", Hyperallergic (May 24, 2023).
- Students for Life of America (May 17, 2023). Pro-Abortion Teacher Vandalizes Pro-Life Student Table.
- Final Exam Schedule Spring 2023. Hunter College, CUNY.
- Griffin, Allie (May 22, 2023). "NYC college professor Shellyne Rodriguez cursed out anti-abortion students tabling at school", New_York_Post.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Post Reporter Threatened by NYC Professor with Machete Tells All", New York Post (May 24, 2023).
- "Shellyne Rodriguez, Unhinged NYC college professor who cursed out anti-abortion students, holds machete to Post reporter's neck", New_York_Post (May 23, 2023).
- "New York Post reporter not sure whether he'll press charges against machete-wielding professor", Fox News (May 23, 2023).
- "NYC Professor Threatens to 'Chop Up' New York Post Reporter With Machete", The Daily Beast (May 23, 2023).
- Di Liscia, Valentina (June 9, 2023). "Hundreds Sign Petition in Support of Artist Shellyne Rodriguez", Hyperallergic.
- FEAS Frente Hermanas Amor y Solidaridad. Protect Adjunct Professor Rodriguez Now!.