The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin features Joiri Minaya’s “Labadee.” The exhibition opened on September 14, and will be on view until December 8, 2019. This show’s centerpiece is a seven-minute video—Labadee—created by Dominican artist Joiri Minaya, which explores the social and economic dynamics at play in Labadee, Haiti, on a private beach leased to Royal Caribbean cruise lines until 2050. This show, organized by Claire Howard (assistant curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art), tackles the complicated issues of race and privilege facing the tourism industry in the Caribbean. [Blanton Museum of Art/University of Texas at Austin is located at 200 East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Austin, Texas.]
Description: Joiri Minaya’s video Labadee explores the social and economic dynamics at play in Labadee, Haiti, on a private beach leased to Royal Caribbean cruise lines until 2050. Connecting the Caribbean tourism industry with the legacy of invasion and colonization, the video begins with passages from Christopher Columbus’s diary recounting his arrival in the New World that transition seamlessly into a description of a contemporary visit to Labadee. There, a wall separates the tourists from the locals; the only Haitians allowed on the beach are those employed by the resort or who pay a fee to sell goods or perform. Minaya’s footage from Labadee reveals the exploitation, exoticization, controlled access, and inequality central to tourism—a system that is far from “all-inclusive.”
Minaya (b. 1990) is a Dominican-American artist based in New York City, and her work frequently tackles issues related to the travel industry. She works with digital media, photography, film, performance, sculpture, textiles and painting. She has exhibited internationally across the Caribbean and the U.S. She is a grantee from the Nancy Graves Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (Emerging Artist Grant), the Joan Mitchell Foundation (Emerging Artist and Painters and Sculptors Grants), the Great prize and the Audience Award XXV Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes, the Exhibition Prize Centro de la Imagen (D.R.), and the Great Prize of the XXVII Biennial at the Museo de Arte Moderno (D.R).
[“Labadee” installation, courtesy The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin.]
For more information and trailer https://blantonmuseum.org/rotation/joiri-minaya/