A public art and literacy project developed by Studio REV- (lead artist Marisa Morán Jahn) with residents of El Pital, a rural community in Honduras. The legend centers around a story-eating bandit, Bibliobandido, who terrorizes little kids until they offer him stories they've written. Bibliobandido has since inspired storytelling workshops throughout North and Central America.
Exhibition: Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling
Thurs March 1 - Sun June 3, 2018Opening Reception: Wed, Feb 28, 7-9 pm
Family Reception: Thurs March 1, 1-4 pm
Exhibition created by Studio REV- (lead artist: Marisa Morán Jahn) with Jacob Fisher, Anjum Asharia, Taehee Whang, and the Library Club of El Pital; Architect: Darío Nuñez-Ameni of Atelier DNA; Guest Curator: Amy Rosenblum Martín; Organizer: Museum Director and Chief Curator, Lauren Kelley.
"BIBLIOBANDIDO: Story Eater" is a participatory, multimedia installation at the Harlem-based Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling that unfolds the story world of Bibliobandido (story thief), a masked bandit that eats stories and terrorizes little kids until they offer him stories they’ve written. Visitors will use battery-powered candles (given at the entrance) to explore a mysterious, interactive and magical environment then invited to create their own book and make an offering of stories to appease the appetite of the well-loved villain. Check Sugar Hill's website for public events throughout the exhibition.
Mister Miss Match Cha-Cha-Cha
Winter 2017-Spring 2018In Fall 2017, Studio REV- (lead artist: Marisa Morán Jahn) received a commission from the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, MA to collaborate with Horizons for Homeless Children to create Bibliobandido-inspired pre-literacy activities for toddlers throughout Massachusetts whose development has been impacted by challenges including food shortage, domestic violence, and homelessness, among others. the result? A new character! Born from a pile of laundry, 'Mister Miss Match Cha-Cha-Cha' craves rhythm and rhyme (but can't keep a beat). Mister Miss Match and accompanying curricula will be rolled out as part of PEM's Playtime exhibition in Spring 2018. Stay tuned for updates!
Genesis: The Origin of BB
Initiated in 2010 by Marisa Jahn (Studio REV-) in collaboration with the community of El Pital, a rural community in Honduras with a low literacy rate, El Bibliobandido (or 'story thief') is an ongoing living legend built around a masked bandit who, ravenous for stories, terrorizes little kids until they offer him stories they've written. Bibliobandido – and his insatiable cravings – continues to provoke bookmaking and storytelling sprees across the region, where the third week of every month is Bibliobandido Week. For this "monthly harvest," El Pital's library committee collaborates with one of 19 participating villages to create new characters and enact a new 'episode.' Today, many of the 500 kids living in the region grow up 'believing in' El Bibliobandido, a character whose fame rivals Santa Claus.
Bibliobandido has gone on to terrorize libraries, museums, and film festivals in Central and North America, casting a wide net of believers and fellow book-fiends. In 2017, through a commission from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, Jahn began collaborating with Horizons for Homeless Children to create Bibliobandido-inspired pre-literacy activities for toddlers throughout the state of Massachusetts whose development has been impacted by challenges including food shortage, domestic violence, and homelessness, among others. In 2016, the Seattle Public Library adopted the masked bandit as a mascot for their digital literacy programs.
In 2016, Seattle adopted Bibliobandido as the mascot for digital literacy programs. integrate storycrafting + paper circuitry workshops, introducing youth to basic electronic principles such as how to lay down copper tape, add a battery, and complete a circuit to illuminate a LED light — then meaningful fold this design into the story. Through character and arts-driven strategies that appeal to youth, the workshop drives 21st century literacy across platforms and promotes STEAM-based learning.
Previous Exhibitions & Events
Studio Museum in Harlem
Caribbean: Crossroads of the World (June 14 - October 21, 2012)
Peréz Art Museum Miami
Caribbean: Crossroads of the World (April 18 - August 17, 2014)
Participants: Overtown Youth Center and visitors to the museum
At Queens Museum/Immigrant Movement International
Taller Bibliobandido: Bilingual Bookmaking Workshop (Summer 2013, Spring 2014)
Studio REV-'s Taller Bibliobandido is an intergenerational bilingual book-making and storytelling workshop at the Queens Museum/Immigrant Movement International, addressing one of the chief challenges identified by a community of mothers and children in Corona, Queens: the loss of cultural heritage and bilingual literacy.
Miscellaneous BB Tastemaking and Troublemaking
→ Prowling the pages of Artforum
→ BB Bites the Big Apple! Studio REV-'s Youth Media Arts Workshop (Summer 2013
→ ZERO1 curator Cecilia Galiena notes, "El Bibliobandido shake[s] the air and create possibilities for something more durable to happen."
CLIENT/COMMISSION : Seattle Public Library, Un Mundo (Honduras), Peréz Art Museum Miami, Queens Museum, Queens Museum, San Francisco Public Library, Studio Museum of Harlem, Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling, Peabody Essex Museum and Horizons for Homeless Children
DATE : 2010 and ongoing
TAGS : Curricula, Public Art, Exhibition, Design
Press : ArtForum (2013)