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A Culture in Flames: Puerto Rican Art of Resistance in the XXI Century

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The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center

107 Suffolk St

New York, New York, NY 10002

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A Culture in Flames: Puerto Rican Art of Resistance in the XXI Century Opening

Curator: Quintín Rivera Toro

Artists: Myritza Castillo, Colectivo La Puerta, Danny Rivera Cruz, Vanessa Hernández Gracia, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Yamcy Leslie, Mónica Rodríguez Medina, Marisol Plard, Chemi Rosado Seijo, Garvin Sierra

Gallery: Abrazo Interno Gallery

Dates: May 28th - June 25th, 2021

Opening Reception: May 28th, 2021, 5 - 8PM

Please join the Clemente Soto Velez cultural center in the Lower East Side of New York City for the opening reception of “A Culture in Flames: Puerto Rican Art of Resistance in the XXI Century”, curated by artist Quintín Rivera Toro. This art exhibit includes artists whom are the subject of investigation for River-Toro’s doctoral dissertation exploring issues that pertain to Puerto Rico's colonial and patriarchal political history. It features selected works by Chemi Rosado Seijo, Myritza Castillo, Danny Rivera Cruz, Marisol Plard, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Yamcy Leslie, Colectivo La Puerta, Mónica Rodríguez Medina, Garvin Sierra, with a special performance by Vanessa Hernández Gracia on the evening of the opening.

Chemi Rosado Seijo and Vanessa Hernández Gracia explore micro utopian possibilities through their performance driven installations, by swapping class rooms with art galleries or walking barefoot on NYC’s pavement they represent forms of idealistic anarchism against colonial realities; Yamcy Leslie and Danny Rivera Cruz tackle head on issues of gender inequality through video and photography, by exploring female empowerment via the embodiment of digital transvestism in classical portraiture, and also through video looping latin american power ballad singers making males vulnerable; Garvin Sierra and Mónica Rodríguez Medina explore the political history of the island’s iconography in their sculptures of cut up academic books and trap installations, and with wooden replicas of guns and rifles used for nationalist insurrections; Anonymous Colectivo La Puerta and Karlo Andrei Ibarra make bold protestation statements about colonialism with confrontational public text murals and sardonic video art works of statehood identified Puerto Ricans singing the Star Spangled Banner; Marisol Plard and Myritza Castillo mine the nostalgic aspects of islander life with the super personal consumption of family ashes and the architectural photography of abandoned buildings and past industries.

Through the art works of these committed culture makers as well as the historic and theoretical investigations of the curator, a sustained practice of colonial resistance is evidenced, achieving the affirmation of a distinct Puerto Rican identity from its colonial occupant, the United States of America.

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The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center

107 Suffolk St

New York, New York, NY 10002

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