Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, is a major survey exhibition of twenty-first century art of the Caribbean that employs the archipelago as an analytical framework. Working against traditional understandings of the Caribbean as discontinuous, isolated, and beyond comprehension as a result of its heterogeneous populations, multiple linguistic traditions, and diverse colonial histories, Relational Undercurrents locates thematic continuities in the art of the Caribbean islands.
The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections: Conceptual Mappings, Perpetual Horizons, Landscape Ecologies and Representational Acts and features artists whose works have informed and shaped those themes. With over eighty artists and occupying the entire museum space, Relational Undercurrents includes painting, installation art, sculpture, photography, video, and performance. It is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue with commissioned essays by scholars and curators.
Whether or not you go, the accompanying catalog, Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, calls attention to the artistic production of the Caribbean islands and their diasporas, challenging the conventional geographic and conceptual boundaries of Latin America. The editors offer an "archipelagic model," which proposes a mapping of the Caribbean from the perspective of its islands as distinct from its continental coasts. Highlights thematic continuities in the art of the insular Caribbean, placing Hispanophone artists in visual conversation with those from Anglophone, Francophone, Dutch, and Danish backgrounds. It includes over eighty artists, among them Tania Bruguera, Allora & Calzadilla, Christopher Cozier, Jorge Pineda, Edouard Duval-Carrié, and Ebony G. Patterson. In accompanying essays, curators, critics, and scholars discuss particular artistic traditions in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Haitian art and theorize the broader decolonial and archipelagic conceptual frameworks within which such works are produced.
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