New Book: Con urgencia, Writings on Contemporary Puerto Rican Art

Nelson Rivera’s recent essay collection, Con urgencia: escritos sobre arte puertorriqueño contemporáneo [With Urgency: Writings on Contemporary Puerto Rican Art] (La Editorial Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2009) will be launched on December 19, 2009, at the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) in Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Con urgencia is a collection of critical and theoretical writings on art and its relevance at the national (Puerto Rican) and international levels. Rivera explains that the essays have an undeniable artistic and rigorous political edge. They are a commentary on the use of power in societies, the cultural marginalization caused by the colonialism, and other sociopolitical circumstances that have tempered the most significant visual work on the island. “There is a sense of urgency to the works in this book, a need to address critical projects, artists, and works that have unjustly slipped into oblivion but have served as the coordinates of the country’s artistic identity.” Rivera proposes a richer understanding of the problems of visibility of Puerto Rican art and the complex political situations that create a barrier to the aesthetic gaze and the reach of critical appreciation. Con urgencia “invites reflection on art as an instrument that penetrates reality serves to achieve a radical form of knowledge.”

Nelson Rivera is professor of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico-Humacao. He holds a BA in Plastic Arts from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, a Masters degree in Theater Arts from the University of California-Los Angeles, and a PhD in Drama from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. He won the Puerto Rico Athenaeum Theater Award in 1980 and received honorable mentions in the theater contest of Casa de Las Americas, Havana, in 2003. Rivera runs the theater company Sociedad Anónima Incorporada.  He is also the author of Sucio difícil: Piezas para el teatro 1974-2002 (2005).

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