I was very happy to hear about the reopening of a very special art space in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico: La Casa de los Contrafuertes [which may be translated as The House of the Butresses]. We have previously posted about ten articles on the events sponsored by La Casa [see, for example, Artists Reclaim Cultural Space in Old San Juan] but its reopening, after many trials, tribulations, and hurricanes is of utmost importance now more than ever. And, as Jorge Rodríguez (El Vocero) explains, it opened just on time for an important annual celebration, Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián. Warmest congratulations to Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, Ana Rosa Rivera, and all the artists who helped make this revitalization come true. Rodríguez reports:
With the streets of Old San Juan crowded since yesterday by people from all over the island, a magical hiatus has emerged in the face of these past months of suffering for everyone, when there has been a parenthesis in the midst of tis sadness, to make way for the San Sebastian Street Festivities [Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián]—a space that, in a certain way, fills people with joy.
From early on, the invasion of the streets became evident, San Sebastian Street breathed enjoyment and music, and among all that grace, La Casa de los Contrafuertes stood out (a space that had not closed down due to a fire, but instead, negligence by certain people).
Visual artist Charles Juhasz-Alvarado took it upon himself to develop and direct a sort of art and culture center in San Juan, with the participation of dozens of artists—all yielding to the love of sculpture, theater, dance, music, photography, muralism, visual arts, video art, installations, experimental cinema, and philosophy—carried through with more than twenty thousand visits.
After being closed for almost four years, it was revitalized based on the concept of La Colmena [The Beehive] and with the support of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. “We are active in the struggle to continue what had been interrupted. We invite everyone to an open house during the festivities [Fiestas de San Sebastían] and get to know their home, which will officially open in March,” Juhasz-Alvarado told EL VOCERO.
Taking advantage of the celebration that will last until Sunday, attendees may enjoy a preview of the offer. “It is an open work space, where the creative wills of a growing group of co-authors coincide, artists who create their works next to a bee hive, which is also part of the project. Between books, literary encounters, sound projects, design, theater, the aroma of coffee, the garden, and honey, we promote the exploration of the benefits of commitment, exchange, productive interdependence, understanding of the wonderful complexity of nature, and the appreciation of spontaneity. This is our old and new commitment,” reiterated the director of this project along with artists Ana Rosa Rivera, Julio Suárez, Frances Rivera González, Luis Valdejully, Néstor Barreto, and Allora & Calzadilla, all members of the Associated Board of “La Casa.”
Translated by Ivette Romero. For more information, see http://www.elvocero.com/escenario/festiva-reapertura/article_702b7b34-fbde-11e7-91ac-23f147601465.html
[Photo above by Josián E. Bruno Gómez / EL VOCERO.]
Also see previous posts https://repeatingislands.com/2012/06/06/in-old-san-juan-casa-de-contrafuertes-events-continue/, https://repeatingislands.com/2017/08/05/contraerte-performance-and-installation-by-urayoan-noel/, https://repeatingislands.com/2012/04/27/2012-polygraphic-triennial-deborah-cullen-reviews-the-casa-de-los-contrafuertes-project/, https://repeatingislands.com/2012/04/27/art-exhibition-independientes-at-casa-de-los-contrafuertes-2/, https://repeatingislands.com/2012/07/18/casa-de-los-contrafuertes-lecture-teo-freytes-trayectoria/, https://repeatingislands.com/2012/08/02/casa-de-los-contrafuertes-presents-sonar-ilustrativo-and-jornada-dominicana/, and https://repeatingislands.com/2012/08/09/casa-de-los-contrafuertes-lecture-hector-perez-babilonia/