The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) in Chicago, Illinois, is now showing “Calibán,” featuring artists Chemi Rosado Seijo, Karlo-Andrei Ibarra, Melvin Martínez, Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón, and Alia Farid. The exhibition brings together a group of renowned contemporary Puerto Rican artists featured in the publication Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes by Phaidon Press, which positions San Juan, Puerto Rico among the twelve avant-garde cities in contemporary art worldwide. The exhibition includes a selection of representative works, and commissioned work of the artists including drawing, installation, sculpture, video and painting. The show, which started in early April, runs until July 2015.
Under the auspices of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, this traveling group exhibition was previously shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico [Museo de Art Contemporáneo, MAC] in December 2014, and will later travel to Canada (August 2015) and Bogotá, Colombia (January 2016).
According to the NMPRAC, located in Humboldt Park (in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community), this museum is the only self-standing cultural institution in the nation devoted to showcasing Puerto Rican arts and historic exhibitions year-round.
These artists echo the contemporary art scene in Puerto Rico of the last decade. They are established figures that work in different media (traditional and nontraditional), but all share two qualities: a commitment to experimental art and a dedication to the local environment by exploring the artistic cultural heritage and the contemporary frame of mind in the island. They live and produce their work from the island to the world, transcending borders. “As the only Puerto Rican museum outside of Puerto Rico, we are very excited to present Calibán as the first major exhibit coming directly from Puerto Rico to our National museum since opening our doors in September of 2015,” stated Billy Ocasio, CEO from NMPRAC.
[. . .] Under the curatorship of Marina Reyes Franco, Calibán, arises from a postcolonial perspective and uses as reference the essays Calibán, by Roberto Fernández Retamar and El Destierro de Calibán by Ivan de la Nuez and the interpreted literary analysis of the characters in the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare, which references the Caribbean and Latin American.
[. . .] “Calibán is taken as a proposal to explore a dual purpose, being a display exhibition and a space so that the narrative of the art scene is discussed by those who built it. More than an instance of showing work is the opportunity to retake the word about how artists in Puerto Rico and the scene are understood and represented locally and its relevance to the art scene worldwide. The works displayed here explore various approaches and thematic collaborative work, not only in the realization of parts, but with the participation of the public, either through the positioning of the body or with the activation of the works in room,” stated Marina Reyes Franco. [. . .]
[Accessed via ARC Magazine, The Visualist, La Voz del Paseo Boricua, and Puerto Rico Art News.]
For full articles, see http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2015/04/nmprac-inaugurates-caliban-an-exhibition-of-puerto-rican-contemporary-artists/, http://www.thevisualist.org/2015/04/caliban/, http://lavoz-prcc.org/2015/03/caliban-an-exhibition-of-puerto-rican-contemporary-artists/ and http://artnewspr.blogspot.com/2014/12/caliban-san-juan-ciudad-vanguardista-en.html (in Spanish).