[Many thanks to Veerle Poupeye for bringing this item to our attention via Critical.Caribbean.Art.] “Caribe Hostil” is an exhibition by Puerto Rican artist Yiyo Tirado Rivera. The exhibition is presently on view at El Lobi (located at 621 Ernesto Cerra Street in Santurce, Puerto Rico) until September 26, 2020. Here is a translation of the description, quoting curator and art historian Marina Reyes Franco, as posted in Terremoto (Contemporary Art in the Americas).
Caribe Hostil is the title of the solo exhibition of the visual artist, graphic designer and co-director of KM 0.2, Yiyo Tirado Rivera. The exhibition will be on view until Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the independent art space El Lobi, located at 621 Ernesto Cerra Street in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
Yiyo Tirado Rivera’s work is based on territorial studies on the political, symbolic and aesthetic construction of public space in Caribbean areas. Specifically, the analysis model is directed to the critical reflection of the landscape, architecture, and how these concepts are related to the colonial status of Puerto Rico. Through a varied field of disciplines, such as sculpture, engraving, painting, photography, and installation, he establishes processes that place in tension contemporary forms of colonialism and the different tourist economies that shape the territory at a social and representational level. In 2015, he founded the contemporary art space KM 0.2, with artist Karlo Andrei Ibarra. He was a fellow of the Beta-Local “La Práctica” program. He has exhibited in various institutional spaces in Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, the United States, Spain, and the Dominican Republic.
About the work of Tirado Rivera and its relationship with the current context of Puerto Rico, art historian and curator Marina Reyes Franco states: “It seems that only a pandemic could have the force to massively transform Puerto Rican public opinion against tourism. in our archipelago. In recent months we have seen how the country has gone from economic concern over the loss of cruise ships to demanding the closure of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. 2020 is a very rare beast, and COVID-19 seems, even momentarily in the minds of thousands of Puerto Ricans, to have finally equated the tourism industry with death. However, disdain for the life of the locals is an intrinsic quality of tourism in the Caribbean. Their prevailing goals and aesthetics banish, displace, hide complex stories, and destroy the nature they profess to admire. Over the past four years, Yiyo Tirado has developed a body of work that problematizes our relationship with this industry, its implications for the national landscape, and how it is consumed and transformed for others. In Caribe Hostil, Yiyo Tirado alludes to the emblematic project—not only architectural but also of the country—that the founders of the Commonwealth [Estado Libre Asociado] that we have inherited proposed to us. Through the pieces presented in this exhibition, we confront the symbolism of the Caribe Hilton hotel as a letter of introduction to a modern Puerto Rico, the deterioration of the recently built Paseo Puerta de Tierra, and we begin to venture towards the lands of Dorado, where the privatization of the coast is a fact and the manicured golf courses complement the tourist offerings of a contemporary Puerto Rico.”
El Lobi is a non-profit cultural organization, managed by artists, that promotes artistic practice, critical thinking and collaborations with local and international cultural agents through workshops, meetings, conferences, residencies and exhibitions.
[Shown above: Yiyo Tirado Rivera, “Caribe Hostil” (2020). Neon. Credit: Ariel Annexy Labault.]