An artist’s book has its own temporality. Its reading time is not marked by the number of words per minute that we are able to skim through. It may, for all that matters, even lack text. An artist’s book can be incomprehensible in a first, second and third reading; or it may never be fully deciphered. An artist’s book is the Sphinx without Oedipus.
In celebration of Taller Boricua’s 50th anniversary, El Museo del Barrio presents «Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York», the first monograph exhibition in three decades about the East Harlem-based Nuyorican collective workshop and alternative space. Curated by Rodrigo Moura, the exhibition is comprised of more than 200 works and ephemera, including serigraphs, lithographs, linocuts, paintings, assemblages, collages, and drawings by founding and early members.
The works in «Hulda Guzmán: my flora, my fauna» reveal an artist in exuberant introspection and exploration of reality and perspective through her distinct iconography —informed by her imagination and the flora and fauna in her surroundings within the Dominican Republic. Guzmán renders a world in which children, adults, animals, plants, and invented creatures alike come together to dance, lounge, congregate, share secrets, and play —all colored and enriched by embracing nature and celebrated through the act of painting.
“Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart” is, to date, the most comprehensive survey of work by Raúl de Nieves (1983). De Nieves investigates divinity, desire, and decadence across material, emotional, and spiritual realms. The artist draws inspiration from his childhood spent in Michoacán, Mexico, where public religious ceremonies and private rituals incorporate elaborate costuming and theatrical components. Coming of age in DIY scenes in San Diego and San Francisco also energized de Nieves with a theatrical approach to art making.
“Palindromes” represents Fuenmayor’s “latest investigations into how images can speak to the dynamics of performing identity, negotiating cultural expectations, address histories of colonial exploitation and unpack tropical self-exotification. These reoccurring interests are particularly addressed in his practice to a pan-Latin American and U.S. Latinx context,” according to curator Tobias Ostrander’s text.
Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition by Buenos Aires-based artist Eduardo Navarro. Sitting in a corner of the gallery, the viewer encounters “Self-Doll” (2020), a stuffed humanoid covered in orange fleece. In a time of strict distancing regulations, Self-Doll has become a surrogate for the artist, acting as Navarro’s proxy in the exhibition and for public events. Throughout the exhibition the artist will communicate through the doll at random times, inviting conversations with the audience.
Behind Ramirez’s muses lie saturated, playful colors, or landscapes of quintessential Caribbean beaches, jungles, and paradisiacal symbols. Accompanying many of his subjects are still lifes with tropical fruits, shells, and plants like the “flamboyant tree” and plantains (scientifically, Musa x Paradisiaca). He uses the traditional elements of Renaissance portraiture, but adapts them with Caribbean iconography, rendering his works’ subject matter away from white gentry to those affected by European colonialism.
In line with Frederic Jameson’s musings on the relationship between utopia and science fiction, and seeing the latter’s strength in failing to accurately imagine a real future, «Archeology of Sacrifice» similarly plays with our imagination’s incapacity. Global capitalism is once again responsible; we’re frozen within its trap, unable to seek alternatives. Instead of presenting a conclusive vision, the film offers a plethora of prospects which “defamiliarize and restructure our experience of our own present».
In the mid-1980s Tishan Hsu (b. 1951, Boston) began a series of works that considered the implications of the accelerated use of technology and artificial intelligence and their impact on the body and human condition. His prescient artistic practice has been probing the cognitive as well as physical effects of transformative technological advances on our lives. An artist-intellectual ahead of his time, Hsu worked quietly for many years, largely overlooked or forgotten by the art world –until now.
Drawing on indigenous traditions from the Amazon rainforest; alternative perspectives on Western scientific rationalism; and new thinking around plant intelligence, philosophy and cultural theory, the online exhibition »The Botanical Mind» investigates the significance of the plant kingdom to human life, consciousness and spirituality across cultures and through time. It explores ideas of plant sentience, indigenous cosmologies, radical botany, Gaia theory, quantum biology, and the influence of psychoactive plant medicines.