Since we all are possibly facing an extended period of closures due to new outbreaks, digital exhibitions continue to connect us across continents and as such they are a worthy medium to examine critically. For my overview of four shows, I draw on the concept of “mise-en-scène”, the way digital artworks are presented, as recently elaborated on by one of the major research platforms of digital art, Rhizome.
Through his personal confrontation with the cultural archives, which are not recognised as such within Cuban society, Hamlet Lavastida (b.1983 in Havana/Cuba, lives and works in Havana) creates a register and demands a critical examination of Cuban history. In doing so, he criticises the lack of education and memory work in the social system of today’s Cuba.
Based in Brooklyn, María Berrío (1982) grew up in Colombia. Her large-scale works, which are meticulously crafted from layers of Japanese paper, reflect on cross-cultural connections and global migration seen through the prism of her own history. «Waiting for the Night to Bloom» is the first survey of her work, on view until May 9 at the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, Florida).
Visual artist of Mapuche origin Sebastián Calfuqueo interviews Pablo José Ramírez, Adjunct Curator of First Nations and Indigenous Art at the Tate Modern in London, to inquire about his institutional and independent work, specifically, about his project Infrasónica, a digital platform on non-western sound cultures. Ramírez talks here about the complicity between coloniality and translation as a method to observe temporalizations in the discursive formations of the indigenous from a counter-ethnographic perspective, about what he has defined as “Indigenous Cosmopolitanisms”, and about the risky impulse in some sectors of the art world in relation to the indigenous, as it continues to be anchored in superficial questions about representation and identity.
Two groundbreaking exhibitions currently on view in New York assert the enduring legacy of abstraction among Latinx artists: “Latinx Abstract” at BRIC, curated by Elizabeth Ferrer, and “XX”, at the Manhattan-based LatchKey Gallery. Both exhibitions emphasize, on the one hand, a desire to push against limitations and stereotypical expectations imposed upon Latinx artists, and on the other, the need to reassess the scope and history of abstract art itself.
Reflecting upon his own battle with cancer, which began in his gut, as well as that of members of his family, Maravilla examines how genetic trauma manifests in the body over generations. Throughout the many teachings Maravilla experienced in his healing process, one notion kept returning –if one cleanses properly, they will heal seven generations back and seven generations forward.