“Far Away Yet So Close”—An Exhibition of Contemporary Dominican Art

Edge Zones Art Center (at 3317 NW 7th Avenue Circle Miami, Florida) presents “Far Away Yet So Close (Muy Lejos Pero Tan Cerca)—An Exhibition of Contemporary Dominican Art” from November 19 to December 7, 2022. The opening reception is on November 19, 2022, 6:00 to 9:00pm. [There will also be a reception during Miami Art Week, on December 3, 2022, 7:00 to 11:00pm.

Participating artists include Yanira Collado, Gina De la Rocha Góico, Patricia Encarnación, Diana Eusebio, Leslie Gómez-González, Javier María, Manuel Mera, Joiri Minaya, Raúl Morilla, Charo Oquet, Iris Pérez, Geraldine Rivera, Yelaine Rodríguez, Alette Simmons-Jiménez, and Limber Vilorio Villanueva.

Curator: Charo Oquet, Essay by María Elena Ortiz

Far Away Yet So Close celebrates the prowess of contemporary Dominican art. Bringing contemporary art from Dominican Republic and its diaspora into dialogue, Far Away Yet So Close is a multidisciplinary project encompassing new commissions in a diverse mix of media and forms, live performances, a publication, and an exhibition. The exhibition brings together over 30 works, highlighting the importance of Dominican artists in contemporary culture.

The presentation sets out to convey Dominican art now as a living process reflecting ever-changing socio-political, socio-cultural, and philosophical developments and discourses and includes migration experiences and challenges. 

The exhibition title Far Away Yet So Close reflects consumer and popular culture, art, politics, and religion. Far Away Yet So Close provides an opportunity for visitors to gain closer access to the Dominican art produced here and in the Island nation.

The project draws notable artists into creative discourse. Each participant has been invited, perform, read, or present in visual form an original work. 

Far Away Yet So Close brings art, artists, and poetry into orbit with audiences through an experimental and experiential exhibition that explores the longstanding tradition of Dominican art in all its form. 

This exhibition presents works by a generation of artists with diverse practices, preoccupied by tumultuous questions of society, identity, and the planet, evolving in a murky era with an uncertain future, its haziness and unpredictability exacerbated by the current crisis.

In addition to their specific approaches, the artists taking part in this project seem to share an intuitive desire to draw freely from reality’s muddle of sources while questioning belief and systems’ transmission, to generate, in the spirit of an act of resistance, an experience of unpredictability, an alternative and poetic imagination, as well as new, unusual forms.

What is Dominican art today? How is the work produced by exponents who no longer live there but whose work has references to the island differ from those living there? How is the work produced by artists living there but who look elsewhere for references because of their desires to escape the chaos and the limits that living on an island creates? Is it nostalgia or are they trying to make sense of their history? What are any common elements in their discourse and in their work? 

The answers to these questions are manifested in a series of works of performative videos that call for collaboration and explore decolonizing, femininity, diversity, heritage, and social background. 

The rich array of work exhibited and presented response to this invitation is variously poignant. It spans a broad range of topical themes, from the impact of colonization, human mortality, and the nature of compassion through to the very act of breathing itself. 

Far Away Yet So Close offers an expansive sample of Dominican Art in multiple and often surprising forms, including spoken and written word, dance, music, installation, ceramic, painting, and video.

While the work of Dominican artists is often appearing in other modes of art and is incorporated into exhibitions and within broader museum programming, a presentation of this scale and depth is uncommon. Far Away Yet So Close seeks to make a meaningful contribution to an expanded expression and definition of Dominican Art – the imaginative and magical correspondence between the different genres.

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