Organized by VisArts resident curator Gabrielle Tillenburg, the collective exhibition “Sound of Fire” is a part of an ongoing research project examining artist responses to the impacts of U.S. military involvement from a transnational approach. VisArts explains, “While most of the artists whose works are on display are Puerto Rican, the presence and impact of US military are examined on and beyond the island.” Artists include Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Jonathan Perez, Eric Rivera Barbeito, Jezabeth Roca Gonzalez and Joshua Roca Gonzalez, Jess Shane and Katie Mathews, in collaboration with Mansoor Adayfi, and John Dominic Colón.
“Sound of Fire” is on view from January 25 to March 12, 2023, at Kaplan Gallery—located at 155 Gibbs Street (Suite 300), Rockville, Maryland.
Description: Sound of Fire is a part of an ongoing research project examining artist responses to the impacts of US military from a transnational approach. Departing from a focus on Puerto Rico—an island long occupied by the US and still feeling the impacts of US military use—the project encompasses art historical research and curatorial projects that bring attention to the bodies, lands, and waters that both absorb and resist military occupation around the globe.
While most of the artists whose works are on display are Puerto Rican, the presence and impact of US military are examined on and beyond the island: in Vieques (an island off the coast of Puerto Rico), nearby Cuba, within the continental US, globally, and in the internal world of memory. The US military, as an (inter)national power, remains under-examined, especially through critical lenses. The artists here take on the task of trying to make sense of a highly concealed, globalized, multi-pronged national project with attention to nuance and what remains unseen. In many of the works, sound and transmission are utilized as mechanisms for seeing when direct observation is not available.
Gabrielle Tillenburg (she/her) is an independent curator from Rockville, MD. As an art historian, she specializes in modern and contemporary Caribbean and diasporic art while pursuing her doctorate at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her research focuses on artistic responses to US military presence on the Caribbean and Pacific islands. Bridging her scholarship and curatorial practice, she is interested in artist activism in independence movements, interpretations of time in photographic media, and contemporary use of craft materials. Her curatorial projects have included Re∙Cast: Sculptural Works from the AMA Collection at UMD Art Gallery, Past Process at Strathmore, Soft Serve at Willow Street Gallery, and public art installations at Torpedo Factory. She has worked on Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibitions such as the Outwin Boochever Portraiture Competition and was the Exhibitions Coordinator at Strathmore. She holds a BFA in Film from the University of Central Florida.
For more information, see https://www.visartscenter.org/event/sound_of_fire/
[Image above by Eric Rivera Barbeito’s “$753,000,000,000.00,” 2021.]
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