The 2017 Arts residency program of the John Michael Kohler Art Center saw a very active artist in Johana Moscoso. The Colombian-born multidisciplinary artist focused her residency on creating tiles for a dance floor.The idea for the project was born while dancing Salsa on wet tiles and become a new experience for the artist and the people involved in the program. Together with a dance teacher, she performed a series of Salsa and Merengue dances on the raw clay that would later become the tiles. The experienced teacher felt that it was an exhilarating but slightly scary experience to dance with high heels on this surface where one could possibly get stuck. They didn’t and the result was a mesmerizing performance where the raw and cool factory environment and the flowing dress of the dancer created a unique and fascinating melee.A lot of Johana’s performances include dancing as part of the overall art pieces. Rooted in her family’s and the community’s ties from Latin America, it is a way to express her feelings and sentiments through movement.Her CV reads like a travelogue from her native Bogota to the United States making her way up to Atlanta, New York, and Chicago including stops at the Ocmulgee National Monument Museum and the Aphrodite Project, Kestos Imas where she had worked as a seamstress.It is not surprising that her work often embodies the transcendence of culture between South America and North America. Johana expresses herself through installations, tapestry, performance, and a mix of performative installations.In 2009, she graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, Georgia, with an MFA in Sculpture. While she works as a hands-on artist, she also has taught and managed in the art fields in Chicago.All of these experiences were incredibly valuable during the residency in Kohler, Wisconsin, where her main project focused on the production of a tiled dance floor. On the one hand, she needed a lot of space to realize the idea, and on the other hand, she needed many able bodies to help her put it together and make it work. These she found in the eager factory associates who were more than willing to support her.
The objective of the dance floor was to create something beautiful, meaningful, and with a bit of history. The factory has a library of molds that are the basis to create diversely patterned large tiles and that were previously used for actual production. Johana marveled at the fact that she had access to all this knowledge, materials, and the experience of the factory staff to mastermind an amazing piece of art. She felt that the residency program was one of the best in the world.The project of the dance floor is much more than a collection of tiles – it is a delicate, vibrant dance in a huge space. The rest of this project we leave up to you to interpret.