The Whitney Museum Will Stage a Landmark Show of Puerto Rican Art Made in the Five Years Since Hurricane Maria

The Whitney Museum of American Art will mark the 5-calendar year anniversary of Hurricane Maria with the first significant exhibition of Puerto Rican art to be organized at a U.S. museum in 5 many years.

The exhibition, titled “No existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Artwork in the wake of Hurricane Maria,” will carry together an intergenerational team of extra than 15 artists centered in Puerto Rico and throughout the diaspora, much more than fifty percent of which discover as gals, trans, and nonbinary. Their contributions, all developed given that the storm hit in September 20, 2017, “seek to examine the cracks left by the storm in the pretty composition of Puerto Rico’s politics, culture, and modern society,” in accordance to an announcement from the museum.

Marcela Guerrero, the Whitney’s curator who structured the display together with existing and previous museum fellows Angelica Arbelaez and Sofía Silva, said in an e mail to Artnet Information that the exhibition would not be a different celebration of a community’s resilience in the confront of tragedy. 

“‘Resilience’ is a term that has been utilised uncritically in the context of post-Maria,” the curator said. “As scholar Marisol Lebrón has said, resilience abdicates the point out of obligation. Efforts to create a Puerto Rico outside of the constraints imposed by its colonial style and design have always existed and this, perhaps, is one of its most acute and noticeable moments.”

Gamaliel Rodríguez, <i>Collapsed Soul</i> (2020-21). Courtesy of the artist and Nathalie Karg Gallery NYC. © 2021 Gamaliel Rodríguez. Photo: Gamaliel Rodríguez.

Gamaliel Rodríguez, Collapsed Soul (2020-21). Courtesy of the artist and Nathalie Karg Gallery NYC. © 2021 Gamaliel Rodríguez. Photograph: Gamaliel Rodríguez.

The exhibition and its catalogue, Guerrero went on, “are illustrations of this coalescing of voices of artists and thinkers who share an interest in exposing this dire instant in Puerto Rican historical past, yet presenting an option in how to see matters and how to resist simplistic understandings of what is a very advanced political and social actuality.”

Studies have approximated that among 3,000 and 4,645 Puerto Ricans died as a result of Hurricane Maria in 2017—an appalling figure that gurus say has as a lot to do with the severity of the Classification 5 storm as it does with the lack of state and federal resources granted to the island territory each ahead of and just after the disaster. (To numerous, the image of previous President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans epitomized the negligence.)

Sofía Gallisá Muriente, <i>Celaje</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist. © 2020 Sofía Gallisá Muriente.

Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Celaje (2020). Courtesy of the artist. © 2020 Sofía Gallisá Muriente.

The exhibition checklist is however becoming tweaked, Guerrero reported, but the clearly show will involve paintings, prints, performances, and other artworks. And it’s not just the hurricane that it’ll tackle. Also on the desk are other events that have altered the island territory in the a long time because, such as the 2019 ousting of governor Ricardo Rosselló and the pandemic. 

“Hurricane Maria left an indelible mark on the background of Puerto Rico,” Guerrero said. “With the hindsight of five decades due to the fact that fateful function, we know that Maria’s results are not able to be decreased to the storm by itself but somewhat unfold throughout the events that preceded and adopted September 20. The arts community understands the nuances of this reality, and by their do the job can at as soon as denounce the policies of disinvestment in the lives of Puerto Ricans when also speaking a information of resistance.” 

No existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the wake of Hurricane Maria” is set to get spot November 23, 2022–April 23, 2023 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

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Kenneth Proto

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