Modesto Flako Jimenez
April 7th: 3pm
April 9th: 6:30pm
April 10th: 6:30pm
Mercedes is a multidisciplinary installation inspired by Modesto 'Flako' Jimenez’s grandmother Mercedes. After immigrating to America as a kid, Flako was raised by his grandmother in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As an adult, he served as her main caregiver as she battled dementia. In the process of taking care of his “mama," he uncovered years of letters, receipts, and papers that documented her impact on the Latine community. Mercedes includes a visual exhibition, a documentary, and a theatrical performance that honors the legacy of Latine individuals Mercedes helped migrate to the country. Mercedes is a multidisciplinary experience that explores our relationship to the matriarchy and our ancestors, familial bonds and inherited trauma, and how our own identity can impact our mental health.
Modesto ‘Flako’ Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised, multi-hyphenate artist. As a poet, playwright, educator, actor, producer, and director, his work exists in and explores the intersections of identity, language, mediums, cultures, and communities found in his personal life and beyond. Jimenez’s recent work includes Taxilandia, an Obie Award winning, multifaceted Bushwick community tour and poetic experience from the back of a taxicab that earned the New York Times Critics’ Pick and rave reviews from Time Out New York. Jimenez is the founder of ¡Oye! Group, a nonprofit that serves as an incubator for artists both native and immigrant to New York City. Jimenez is currently a 2023-2024 Mary Mackall Gwinn Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, and in 2021, Jimenez received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in performing arts and theater.
Mercedes is co-presented by ¡Oye! Group. Thanks to Musical Theatre Factory for developing original music for the performances, with composition and music direction by Pedro Fortunato. The lead role of Mercedes was played by actress Zuleyma Guevara.