Melissa Raymond was born in Montreal, Canada. She creates works that involve dance, performance, video, objects, and text. She graduated in fine arts with a major in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University in 2007. As a choreographer and dancer she has presented works and been a part of many events in the city of Montreal. Interested in documentation, archival materials, and the links between objects and memory, Melissa Raymond often uses familiar elements to comment on our day-to-day surroundings and how they influence the body. Her 2008 spic-and-span-pop dance piece Le contenu du blender was selected by Montreal’s OFF.T.A. festival and presented at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui. That same year she left Canada for a summer residency in Puerto Rico, at AREA Lugar de Proyectos, where she presented El contorno de las cosas – a poetic essay on the traces left by the disappearance of things and our attachment to what is now not there. More than a dance piece, El Contorno…was an environment, involving interior design, video projection, choreographic installations and collected objects. In May 2009, she present the hour lengh piece, FAKE, at Montreal’s Studio 303. The piece was complemented by a blog which invited the dancers to share their impressions during the creative process- the beginning of a research on ways to expand the dance show experience, that Melissa Raymond is developing. In 2009 she returned to Puerto Rico and began collaborating with René Sandín Álvarez through Instrucciones para secarse, a photography and sound installation documenting the way they dry themselves after a shower, routines that are choreographically conserved in the body after decades of repetition. They also presented Playlist for Two at the Feria de Arte Sonoro, in Espacio Arana, in San Juan, Sin Titulo (Bandera) as part of Serie Regional de Jugadores Pampers at the Arsenal and Dancing on a dream (The space in between) at Area. In april 2011, Living document /Documento vivo, the piece she had created for the puertorican dance compagnie Andanza, was presented in Teatro Francisco Arrivi.
René Sandín earned his masters degree in the conservation of paintings from the Art Conservation Program at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Servicing the needs of museums as well as private collections, he has collaborated with DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Stewart Hall Cultural Center of the City of Pointe-Claire, the Museum of Art and Design of Miramar (MADMi), the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (MAPR), the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP), the Museum of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (MUSA-RUM), the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation (FLMM), and the Julio Rosado del Valle Foundation. In the private sector, René Sandín has been a frequent collaborator in the conservation of works of the prestigious and world-reknown Berezdivin Collection (Espacio 1414) based in San Juan. He has also been a sessional lecturer at Caribbean University, teaching preventive conservation.
In the fall of 2016, René Sandín was a participant in the Canadian Conservation Institute’s (CCI) week-long Advanced Professional Development Workshop, entitled The Cleaning of Painted Surfaces, held at the Centre de Conservation du Québec (CCQ), lead by Emanuela Bonaccini and Luciana Ruatta.
René Sandín works in Montréal, Québec, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Los De Afuera (2020) is a compendium of interviews with Puerto Rican artists who have made their life across the globe produced by Cranium Corporation.
Crédito de foto de Melissa y René, Alexandra Sandín