portfolio > Cuba + Puerto Rico | Invitación a Volar

The inspiration for Invitación a Volar (Invitation to Fly) began with the Cuban trova song Son de Cuba a Puerto Rico by Pablo Milanés and the poem A Cuba by late 19th Century Puerto Rican writer Lola Rodríguez de Tió. Both reflect on the metaphor of these Antillean lands as being “the wings of a single bird”--unable to successfully fly without the cooperation of both sides. Despite the remarkably close relationship between these two lands in terms of their historic struggles for autonomy, there is a feeling in both of the above works, that Puerto Rico, as one half of this Caribbean bird, has "fallen [off] into the sea".

In this exhibition, the artist looks at historical and present day moments of Caribbean "hyper-coloniality" within popular culture, mass media, and consumer products-- transforming these instances into a sculptural and performative language that focuses a viewer's awareness on their own complicity in furthering these destructive narratives and keeping both of these Caribbean aves similarly "grounded".

"There are laws of political, as well as physical, gravitation, and if an apple, severed by the tempest from its native tree, cannot choose but fall to the ground, Cuba [and Puerto Rico], forcibly disjointed from its own unnatural connexion with Spain and incapable of self-support, can gravitate only towards the North American Union."

- John Quincy Adams, 1823.

Public programs included: off-site performances, film screenings, public interventions, dance parties, and an artist talk. Noam Chomsky, Alan West Duran, Yasmin Silvia Portales Machado & Luis Germán Cajiga, are a few examples of the range of visitors to the gallery.

This solo exhibition was curated by Anabel Vázquez at LA GALERÍA @ IBA’s Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston, MA
On view from May 1 - June 29, 2013

Review of the show by local artist/writer Suzi Grossman

Select 2D pieces exhibited at Grin (Providence), and reviewed by Greg Cook for The Phoenix