Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Benjamin Santiago

MFA 2016 (Emerging Artist Award Winner)

troh-seht whah-zhej ee-woon-doo-zha-mah ah-yoo-ohb

Spaundou (language), embroidered work suit, modified broom, 2016, dimensions vary

I am half Puerto Rican and half Filipino but was never taught Spanish or Tagalog. Because of this, I’ve always experienced language as a kind of landscape of sounds first. My language, Spaundou (pronounced “SPAWN-doo”), is a way of recreating this experience for the audience. Spaundou is not a simple remapping of sounds to meanings, like pig Latin. It is a sincere attempt to understand how language creates and changes meaning. Spaundou is expressed in musical and comedic performances that create familiar experiences, which contrast with the confusion of not understanding the language.

Benjamin Santiago - troh-seht whah-zhej ee-woon-doo-zha-mah ah-yoo-ohb

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A Daimler Company

Due to the building guidelines that are in place in response to the COVID-19 situation, we are unable to install a new art exhibit in our Farmington Hills, Michigan and Fort Worth, Texas offices.

Thankfully, the majority of artists who currently have their work on display in our Michigan and Texas locations have graciously allowed us to continue to do so through the spring of 2021. We would like to extend a huge thank you to those artists and we look forward to continuing with a new exhibition in the summer of 2021.