[PR: In/Ex] invites artists to reflect on hidden dualities and contradictions that have faced Puerto Rico even prior to hurricanes Maria and Irma. Among these: why is Puerto Rico always rendered as simultaneously “in” and “out” of dialogues about nationhood, identity, economy, and cultural status? How did Maria and Irma expose pre-existing vulnerabilities of predatory debt, racism, and economic exclusion? On the other hand, what are the roots of Puerto Rican resiliency, innovation and healing, and what’s the role of the artist in visualizing the future?
The exhibition features a diverse array of Puerto Rican contemporary artists working across media. Elsa María Melendez presents large-scale fabric sculpture referring to loss and rebirth; Awilda Rodríguez Lora shows movement-based performance staged around an altered cityscape. Adál presents a series of "underwater" portraits; Frances Gallardo exhibits cut paper collages about the aesthetics of aftermath. Patrick V. McGrath Muñiz offers narrative paintings about cultural conflict, and Martin García Rivera shows delicate etchings all produced during a time without electricity on the island. Jo Cosme presents a "tarot" deck depicting the complex social interactions that form recovery; Ricardo Rodríguez presents a haunting installation asking about the intertwined fate of nations. Available at the exhibition is also a take-away poster of documentary photographs from journalist Erika P. Rodríguez.
From artist Ricardo Rodríguez: “Hurricanes Maria and Irma unveiled - like a power washer lifting layers of opaque dirt - the realities that are inherent in being one of the last colonies in the Western Hemisphere. These conditions are not abstract but are lived experiences of diverse Puerto Ricans, both before and after having the lands decimated. This exhibition gives artists a platform to engage what led to Puerto Rico’s vulnerability and what strategies lead to its future.”
Beyond the exhibition, [PR: In/Ex] is the centerpiece of a comprehensive Spanish-centered instructional effort at Glendale Community College, in collaboration with the Language Arts, Journalism, Social Science and Visual and Performing Arts departments. It is also a venue for continued public visibility of Puerto Rico’s ecological and economic need.
On Saturday, April 6th, The Art Gallery @ GCC is hosting a community event and reception for[PR: In/Ex], featuring Puerto Rican music and dance, food and drink, short lectures and gallery tours.
[PR: In/Ex] is co-curated by David John Attyah and Ricardo Rodríguez. Information about the exhibition and event is available at www.glendale.edu/artgallery or via Instagram at @artgallerygcc.