The Instituto Cervantes, New York (211 East 49th Street, New York , NY 10017) is pleased to present the exhibition Calibán, featuring the work of artists Chemi Rosado Seijo, Karlo-Andrei Ibarra, Melvin Martínez, Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón and Alia Farid. The show opens July 30, 7pm and runs through August 29, 2015.

The travelling show, presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (2014), the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) of Chicago (April 2, 2015), brings together a group of renowned contemporary Puerto Rican artists featured in the publication, Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes of Phaidon Press, which positions to San Juan of Puerto Rico among the twelve cities avant-garde in contemporary art worldwide.

These artists echo the contemporary production of the art scene in Puerto Rico in the last decade. They are established figures that work in different media (traditional and nontraditional), but all share two qualities: a commitment to experimental art and a dedication to the local environment by exploring the artistic cultural heritage and the contemporary frame of mind of Island. They live and produce their work from the Island to the world, transcending borders.

Under the curatorship of Marina Reyes Franco, Calibán, arises from a postcolonial perspective and uses as reference the essays Calibán, by Roberto Fernández Retamar and El Destierro de Calibán by Ivan de la Nuez and the interpreted literary analysis of the characters in the play, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, with its references to the Caribbean and Latin American.

The exhibition includes a selection of representative works, and commissioned work of the artists including drawing, installation, sculpture, video and painting.

Calibán, is taken as a proposal to explore a dual purpose, being a display exhibition and a space so that the narrative of the art scene is discussed by those who built it.  “More than an instance of showing work is the opportunity to retake the word about how artists in Puerto Rico and the scene are understood and represented locally and its relevance to the art scene worldwide.  The works displayed here explore various approaches thematic collaborative work, not only in the realization of parts, but the participation of the public, either through the positioning of the body or with the activation of the works in room,” stated Marina Reyes Franco.

In order to provoke an active participation of the public, the exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks in which turns the display through conferences and musical performances. The first on will be held on the opening night.

“The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is proud to sponsor Calibán, an exhibition that portrays the talent of our contemporary artists, which are the honorable reason for San Juan to be selected among the 12 cities avant-garde in the world of contemporary art, contributing to the projection of the Island as a cultural destination of five-star,” said Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

The exhibition is possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Municipal of San Juan, Magic Transport and Sajo, Alcazar & García (SAG).

Calibán will be in exhibition at Instituto Cervantes New York, July 30 – thru August 29, 2015 at 211 East 49th Street, New York , NY 10017.  For more information, you may contact 212. 308. 7720 or visit the Instituto Cervantes website.

About the artists:

Alia Farid

Alia Farid (b.1985, Kuwait City, Kuwait) is a Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist working at the intersections of art, architecture and the public realm through the activation of spaces for critical thinking and action. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (Viejo San Juan), a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Visual Arts Program at MIT (Cambridge, MA), and a Master in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Programa d’Estudis Independents at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Catalonia). She has completed residencies at Beta Local (San Juan), Casa Árabe (Córdoba), the Serpentine Galleries (London) and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha). She currently works in the Heritage and Museums Department of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters of Kuwait on developing public programs and enhancing cross-institutional relationships.I began making work somewhere between art, architecture, and urban anthropology. Today I’m still interested in these areas, but with a much more focused point in telling how informal networks are forced to make up for lack of formal structure as one of the things I value most is the subversive quality of work that goes unnoticed. Her most ambitious project to date has been curating the Pavilion of Kuwait at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, which – despite it’s appearance at la Biennale di Venezia – placed emphasis on what participating could induce locally in an environment driven by ideologies incongruent with critical and aesthetic thought.

Chemi Rosado-Seijo

Chemi Rosado-Seijo (b. 1973, Vega Alta, Puerto Rico) graduated from the painting department of the Puerto Rico School of Visual Arts in 1997. In 1998, he worked with Michy Marxuach to open a gallery that transformed into a not-for-profit organization presenting resources and exhibitions for contemporary artists in Puerto Rico. In 2000, Rosado had his first solo show at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, including interventions on billboards around the city. Since 2002, he has worked with residents of the El Cerro community in the town of Naranjito to present public art projects, workshops and other community initiatives. In 2006, he inaugurated La Perla’s Bowl, a sculpture built with residents of San Juan’s La Perla community that functions as both a skateboarding ramp and an actual pool. Since 2009, Rosado-Seijo has been organizing exhibitions in his apartment in Santurce, creating a center for meeting and exchange in the Puerto Rican contemporary art scene. Rosado-Seijo has participated in several biennials, including the Whitney Biennial (2002), Prague Biennale 2 (2005), Bienal de la Habana (2006) and the Pontevedra Biennial (2010). Selected exhibitions include My Brain Is My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process at the Canbrook Art Museum in Detroit, Art/Community/Life at the Petrach Tikva Museum in Israel and 173 Days in the Tropical Forest at Annet Gelink Gallery in Amsterdam. He has received grants from Creative Capital (2013) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2011). His work was recently included in the Phaidon publication Art Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes.

Melvin Martinez

Melvin Martinez (b. 1973, San Juan, Puerto Rico) received his BFA from the School of Fine Arts, San Juan in 2005. The same year, Martinez won the prestigious Castellón Painting Prize (Spain). Martínez makes paintings that bring affect to the brink of autopoiesis. In a deluge of color and application that vibrates as if sonic, his works occupy oil, acrylic, glitter, confetti and decorative craft materials beyond ontological loyalties. The paintings renegotiate Martinez’s debt to the optics of Pointillism, anarchy of Abstract Expressionism, resplendence of color field painting or embodied summons of gestural abstraction. Martinez negates indebtedness by reimagining the currency of creative capital. His work has been exhibited in important institutions internationally, has been reviewed in important publications, and is in major collections in the United States, Europe and Latin America. His work is included in Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Museo de Bellas Artes, Castellon, Spain; Espai D’Art Contemporani, Castellon, Spain; Museum Collection Lambert, Avignon, France; MAP, Museum of Ponce, Puerto Rico; MAC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; VAC, Valencia Arte Contemporáneo, Valencia, Spain; Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California; The Rubell Family Collection, among others. His work was recently included in the Phaidon publication Art Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes.

Radamés “Juni” Figueroa

Radamés “Juni” Figueroa (b. 1982, Bayamón, Puerto Rico) obtained his BFA in Painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas (2007) and participated in La Práctica, a program at Beta Local (2013), both in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In his work, Figueroa constructs systems that evoke and celebrate life; life thought of and lived as climate, flora, fauna, music, food, clothes and bars. The idea of living in the tropics, not only as a visual reference, but as an artistic position, is central to his work.

Figueroa enables spaces for interaction between artistic practice and conviviality of the viewers. His projects take the shape of installations, ready-mades, painting and drawing. He feels a particular preoccupation with cultural endeavors and has become an active agent in collaborations between people from different art and music scenes.His work Tree House – Casa Club, built in the Bosque Auxiliar in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, is emblematic of his larger body of work: a sculpture built atop a tree that serves as a literal and metaphorical platform for sociability through exhibitions and concerts. His international presence has intensified after being included in the Whitney Biennial of American Art (2014) with his piece Breaking the Ice, a livable sculpture in the museum’s sculpture court, that was activated several times during the biennial with interventions by invited musicians. Other recent exhibitions include Naguabo Rainbow Daguao Enchumbao Fango Fireflies at the Sculture Center in New York and his residency in Buenos Aires for the exhibition Sucursal, La Ene at MALBA, which resulted in his inclusion in the collection of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires in Argentina. His work is also part of the collection of La Ene – Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo in Buenos Aires, Argentina and numerous private collections.

Notable solo exhibitions include: Oficina Final Feliz (in collaboration with Stefan Benchoam), Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain; El Nido Salvaje, NuMu, Guatemala City, Guatemala (2013); Sal Si Puedes, Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2012); Me tuviste en frente y jamás me viste, Revolver, Lima, Perú (2011); Chochibichi loves la rue, Galería Comercial, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2006). Selected group shows include: Stations, People, Eat, Drink, Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada (2014); Proyectos Ultravioleta presents Proyectos Ultravioleta, Christinger de Mayo, Zurich, Switzerland; Roberto Paradise, Josh Lilley, Londres, Inglaterra; The Way In, Popular Bank Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Postpanamax, Diablo Rosso, Panama City, Panama; Micro-climas, Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2012); Summer Group Show, Nicole Klagsburn, New York, USA (2007) and The Lovers, Canada Gallery, New York, USA. Besides his work as an artista, he also created La Loseta, a 12 exhibition cycle in his apartment and co-curated Trópico Abierto, 1ra Gran Bienal Tropical in Loíza, Puerto Rico, together with Pablo León de la Barra (2011). He has given talks at different institutions and art fairs, such as the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus, Escuela de Artes Plásticas, Otis College of Art and Design, SOMA, NADA New York and Beta Local. He lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His work was recently included in the Phaidon publication Art Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes.

Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón

Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón was born in 1975, in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. He is one of Puerto Rico’s most accomplished contemporary artists and also part of San Juan’s vibrant art community. Negrón lives in Puerta de Tierra, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Upon completion of his first artist residency with M&M Proyectos in 2002 in Puerto Rico, Negron’s work has been displayed in renowned galleries and institutions around the world.

Some of his most notable collaborations include: The Obscenity of the Jungle with Proyectos Ultravioleta for SWAB Barcelona in Spain (2013); the 1st Bienal Tropical in Puerto Rico (2011),where he was awarded the “Golden Pineapple” prize for best artist; Interpretation of the “Soneto de las estrellas” with Proyecto Siqueiros in Mexico (2013), curated by Taiyana Pimentel; Trienal Poligráfica in Puerto Rico (2009), curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta González and Jens Hoffmann; Sharjah Biennial in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2007), curated by Mohammed Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins; Whitney Biennial in New York (2006), curated by Chrissie Iles and Phillipe Vergne; the T1 Torino Trienale in Italy (2005), curated by Francesco Bonami and Carolyn Christov–Bakargiev, and Tropical Abstraction at the Steidelijk Bureau Museum in Amsterdam (2005), curated by Ross Gortzak. Distinguished solo shows include: Abstraction from Cardboard and Carnival, at Roberto Paradise in Puerto Rico (2014); Low Budget Drawings with Roberto Paradise at ARCO in Spain (2013) and Folkloric Encounter Between Loíza-Zürich at Christinger de Mayo in Zürich, Switzerland. Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negron’s work consists in expressing quotidian experiences of the society that surrounds him, whether it is local or international themes. He believes that it is important that works of art can be understood and shared, so much by the art world as by the common societal members. Negron’s work was recently recognized in Phaidon’s ‘Art Cities of the Future: 21st- Century Avant-Gardes’, as one of the eight contemporary influencers of the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Karlo Andrei Ibarra

Karlo Andrei Ibarra (b. 1982, San Juan, Puerto Rico) has a BFA in Painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2005). His work is heavily influenced by his own geopolitical context. Ibarra employs a wide variety of media that refer to conceptual art and mass media while addressing issues of social, political, cultural and geographic boundaries. His practice relies on social and political cognitions gathered from personal research, drawing correlations correlations between individual and national identities and make larger observations respective to a global community. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Recent exhibitions include: Ensayo para una isla estrella, La Ene – Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Forma x forma, forman conforman, Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Genealogía del Ritmo, Diablo Rosso, Panama City, Panama (2014) y SincretITSMOs, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de San José, Costa Rica (2013). His work was included in the 3rd Buccharest Biennial (2008), the Poly/graphic Triennial of San Juan, Latin America and the Caribbean (2009, 2012), the 2nd Moscow Biennial for Young Art (2012), the Biennial of the Americas, Denver, Colorado (2010) and Novo Museo Tropical, TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica (2012). He was awarded first prize at Inquieta Imagen, in the 6th edition of the Digital Art Award for Latin America and the Caribbean, at the Museo de Arte y Diseño in San José, Costa Rica, along with the People’s Choice Award at Optic Nerve, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami (2011). He recently became part of the Artist Pension Trust’s Mexico City trust. His work has been reviewed in various international publications, and featured in Art Cities of the Future: Contemporary Avant Gardes, published by Phaidon Press (2013). His work is part of the collections of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR; Museo de Arte y Diseño de San José in Costa Rica; Museo de Arte de la Universidad del Turabo in Caguas, PR; Ella Cisneros Fontanals Collection in Miami, FL; and other public and private collections.


La exhibición itinerante, Calibán, de los artistas Alia Farid, Chemi Rosado Seijo, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Melvin Martínez, Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa y Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón, inaugura el jueves, 30 de julio a las 7 pm y estará en exhibición hasta el 29 de agosto de 2015 en el Instituto Cervantes de Nueva York (211 East 49th Street, New York , NY 10017).

La exhibición, presentada en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (2014), y en el National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) de Chicago (Abril 2, 2015), reúne a un grupo de los artistas reseñados en la publicación, Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes de Phaidon Press, que posiciona a San Juan de Puerto Rico entre las doce ciudades vanguardistas del arte contemporáneo internacional.

Bajo la curaduría de Marina Reyes Franco, el enfoque del proyecto expositivo proviene de una óptica poscolonial, utilizando referencias de los textos Calibán, de Roberto Fernández Retamar, y El destierro de Calibán, de Iván de la Nuez. Estos ensayos plantean varios análisis literarios sobre cómo se han interpretado históricamente los personajes de la obra literaria La tempestad, de William Shakespeare, con sus referencias a lo caribeño y latinoamericano.

Los artistas de Calibán hacen eco en la producción contemporánea de la escena artística en Puerto Rico durante los pasados diez años. Todos son figuras establecidas que trabajan en medios variados (tradicionales y no tradicionales), y comparten dos cualidades: el compromiso con el arte experimental y la dedicación a su entorno local.  Ellosexploran el patrimonio artístico y cultural, y el ambiente contemporáneo de nuestra ciudad presentando una obra de relevancia internacional que trasciende fronteras.

“Para esta exhibición, tomamos Calibán como un concepto a explorar en términos de cómo nos enunciamos en el mundo del arte, con el objetivo doble de ser una plataforma de exhibición y un espacio para que la narrativa de la escena del arte local sea discutida por aquellos que la construyen. La muestra comprende una selección de trabajos representativos, y obra comisionada. Las obras aquí exhibidas exploran diversos abordajes temáticos al trabajo colaborativo, no solo en la realización de las piezas, sino en la participación del público, ya sea a través del posicionamiento del cuerpo o con la activación de las obras en sala”, señaló la curadora.

Con el fin de provocar una participación activa del público, la muestra está acompañada de una serie de encuentros en los cuales se activa la exhibición mediante encuentros y presentaciones musicales. El primer encuentro se llevará a cabo la noche de apertura.

“En la Compañía de Turismo nos llena de orgullo ser partícipes de esta misión, en la que se exalta el talento exquisito de los artistas puertorriqueños, que con su destrezas se han convertido en embajadores por excelencia de nuestro arte, y hoy son los responsables de que la publicación Art Cities of the Future haya destacado a San Juan como una de las 12 ciudades vanguardistas en el ámbito internacional del arte contemporáneo”, expresó la directora ejecutiva de la Compañía de Turismo. “Con la exposición Calibán y este honroso reconocimiento, nuestros artistas contribuyen a la proyección sólida de Puerto Rico como un destino cultural de cinco estrellas”, concluyó Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort.

Calibán es posible gracias al patrocinio de la Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, Municipio de San Juan, Magic Transport, y Sajo, Alcázar y García (SAG).

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