news Isla imaginaria

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Artists: Sofía Gallisá, Lionel Cruet, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Christopher Gregory, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, Erika P. Rodríguez, and Edra Soto


Location: Pfizer Building, 630 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Exhibition dates: April 19-May 4, 2018

Image: Christopher Gregory, Yabucoa Tennis Club, 2017, chromogenic print. Image courtesy of the artist; on view at Isla imaginaria, curated by Natalia Viera Salgado.

Isla Imaginaria explores notions of paradise and landscape in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Based on Edouard Glissant’s “Poetics of Relation,” Isla Imaginaria offers a pathway to reflect on a  shared space or a world solidarity. What does it mean to inhabit what Glissant defines as a “commonplace” open to the entanglement of worldwide relations? This commonplace could be defined as a space for reverberation that makes us relate to each other. For Glissant the Caribbean sea “has always been a place of encounter and connivance.” It is a space of encounters and departures where cultures blend; it is always in flux. Through the Western and American gaze, Caribbean islands are often referred to as tropical paradises, sanctuary spaces, and places to escape. But they are also places of contradiction where invisible forces come and go, and aspiring Utopian futures are all part of an imaginary. But imaginary for whom and how do we share such an imaginary? What does it mean to belong in a place like this, specifically in the context of the Caribbean reality today? And what does it mean to have “the right to opacity” in a Puerto Rican context? This exhibition questions whether we can share such an imaginary of uncertainty, and also addresses today’s urgent issues of displacement, erased histories, and forced migrations, while exposing the failure of the colonial structure imposed by the U.S. government.

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