Author: Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xok
Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (enrolled Xinka-Lenca of the Royal Jaguar House of El Salvador) is an emerging Indigenous anti-disciplinary public artist, curator, and civic artist working in the intersections of art, culture, community, and equity. Her practice includes visual art, music, dance, and performance with an emphasis on Latinx/Indigenous art methods, the experimental, and the political. Her visual work is rooted in traditional artesanias of Mesoamerica. As an ethnically-mixed and tribally-enrolled Indigenous Salvadoran-Norwegian-American, her works seeks to shift consciousness about immigration and make connections as Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Looking for the common table, her practice lives in the Nepantla or in-between of Christianity and Indigeneity and explores iconography, propaganda, storytelling, Decolonization, and Liberation Theology of El Salvador.
Rebekah co-founded Electric Machete Studios, a Twin Cities Art and Music collective and studio/gallery, where she serves as Artistic director. She writes and performs music as Lady Xok. She has exhibited, performed, and curated throughout the Twin Cities, collaborating with many arts organizations. She is self-taught, family-taught, and studied studio art at St. Olaf College and Holtekilen Folkehøgskole in Oslo, Norway.
Rebekah’s current and recent projects include HOBT’s PuppetLab Fellowship where she is created a Maya magical realism play, piloting the public art intervention Mayan Calendar Project to revitalize star-watching traditions, designing a piece for Forecast Public Art and the Flint Hills Children’s Festival, curating with Electric Machete Studios, and recording a Lady XOK debut music EP. She is currently exhibiting work at the Miikanan Gallery in Bemidji, MN and at Artista Bottega in St. Paul. Recently she hosted a pre-show panel discussion with Electric Machete Studios at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts on contemporary pre-columbian fusion music with Curandero. Rebekah is participated in Penumbra Theatre’s My America Project, with readings as part of the Let’s Talk Series and archived on MPR. A 2018 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership grant, Rebekah will lead the inaugural Artist Take Over Series at the M (Minnesota Museum of American Art) with a month long open studio and performances following their grand reopening in fall 2018.
About Lady Xok music:
Inspired by the original Maya queen, Lady Xok bleeding from the tongue, pulls from folk roots in Latin American Nueva Cancion and American Blues layered with distortion, minor tones, and storytelling. Lady Xok experiments with a mixture of Pre-Columbian Indigenous instruments, rock kits, digital soudns, projections and performance installations. Lady Xok is currently working on a debut album with an EP to release in the near future.