PAMM announces recipients of annual Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) recently announced the recipients of the third cycle of the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship (CCI), selected through an open call by María Elena Ortiz, former PAMM curator and current curator at the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth, and Iberia Pérez Gonzalez, Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute curatorial associate.

With the support of the Mellon Foundation, CCI is a program that aims to advance the study of Caribbean art while providing opportunities for exchange and collaboration across the Caribbean region and its diasporic communities.

“We are delighted to announce and invite the third group of artists and scholars to the Caribbean Cultural Institute Fellowship Program, thanks to our partners at the Mellon Foundation. These new fellows represent the global ethos of the Caribbean from near and far through their unique backgrounds and artistic practices,” said PAMM director Franklin Sirmans. “With one of the most significant collections of contemporary Caribbean art in an American museum, PAMM is committed to promoting the visibility of Caribbean art and culture, as well as expanding research in the field.”

The 2022 CCI Fellowship recipients are: Puerto Rican visual artist Guillermo Rodríguez; Brooklyn-based filmmaker and artist of Jamaican-American descent Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich; and Cuban researcher and curator Abel González Fernández.

“The artist fellows have a strong experimental and research-based art practice,” said Iberia Pérez Gonzalez, Andrew W. Mellon CCI curatorial associate. “By recovering the work and legacy of women artists and writers in the context of Martinique and Cuba, the fellow’s research makes a strong contribution to the expansion of artistic and intellectual histories in the Caribbean.”

Examining Earth as a sentient being, Guillermo Rodríguez’s practice renders sensible and playful probe cosmological data. Resuming artistic research proposing artworks as tools of perception, Rodríguez will explore two parallel investigations during the fellowship period.

Turning “satellitally” inwards, “Doppler Landscapes” proposes an atmospheric conception of landscape. Consisting of large format silk screens based on satellite-generated meteorological data, the series studies the ubiquity of global warming as a generator of new subjectivity and artistic process. “Interstellar Topographies” stems from Rodríguez’s interest in Puerto Rican astrophysicist Wanda Díaz-Merced, known for her role in the field of space data sonification and advances in the field of space data physicalization. Composed of large-scale tactile sculptures, the series translates astronomical data into three-dimensional objects based on models being developed by NASA and other agencies for the blind-visually impaired (BVI) community.

Blending narrative and documentary traditions, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich explores the stories and experiences of Black women in the Americas. For her fellowship, Hunt-Ehrlich will focus on her ongoing film projectToo Bright to See, collaborating with actors, musicians, and community members from the Francophone Caribbean and Francophone diaspora in Florida.

Drawing on extensive research on the legacy of writer, anti-colonial, and feminist activist Suzanne Césaire,Too Bright to See weaves archival materials with cinematic scenes filmed with an unconventional and modern cast. Drawing inspiration from Caribbean aesthetics and Surrealist artwork, this film installation brings attention to new aspects of Cesaire’s legacy that are undocumented in the public arena, while addressing the broader question of the continued erasure of women from historical accounts.

Highlighting the cardinal presence of women artists within the Cuban and Caribbean modernism periods, Abel González Fernández’s research project takes its name from a lecture by Cuban designer Clara Porset in 1931, in which she introduced “tropical context” to the new tendencies in interior design developed by the international language of modernism.

In Cuba, modernism has traditionally been known for its predominantly male figures, even though contemporary counterparts such as Clara Porset and modernist painters such as Loló Soldevilla, Carmen Herrera, Zilia Sánchez, and Amelia Pélaez existed.

Architecture of “enclosed spaces” attempts to expand the narrative of Caribbean modernism art history not only by reconstructing the modernist ideology that framed the creation of modern objects, but also exploring how women artists situated within it developed their voice and perspective.

The recipients of last year’s CCI Fellowship were Eliazar Ortíz (Artist Fellowship), Monica Sorelle (Florida-based Artist Fellowship), Erica M. James (Florida-based Research Fellowship), and Jessica Taylor (International Research Fellowship). In the past year, this program has enabled local and regional collaborations with institutions such as the Bakehouse Art Complexin Miami, and Centro Cultural de España (CCE) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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