No Blank Canvas: Layered Resistance in Puerto Rican Contemporary Art

Mon, Nov 14, 2022
6 pm

Online, via Zoom

All Members

Monday, November 14, 6 pm
Monday, December 12, 12 pm
Thursday, January 26, 6 pm

This online program, led by Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow Angela Brown, will consider how Puerto Rican contemporary art has been a tool for revolution, coalition building, and the creation of archives that honor the real stories of the people rather than catering to the fantasy of the U.S. territory as a “blank canvas” or investor’s paradise. It will provide further art historical and political context for works included in the landmark exhibition no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

On September 28, 2018, a year after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, then-governor Ricardo Rosselló spoke at a forum for the global travel industry and described his vision on Twitter: “I see Puerto Rico as a blank canvas for innovation. Innovation is about thinking differently and being disruptive.” To frame Puerto Rico as a blank canvas for real estate and travel investors is a means of devaluing—even erasing—the artistic and political innovations constantly underway among Puerto Ricans on the archipelago and in the diaspora. Instead, as this program will explore, Boricuas continue to repaint the canvas again and again—as they have for centuries.

Angela H. Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, with research interests in textiles, archival practices, and art pedagogies, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America. Angela holds a B.A. from Vassar College and has worked as a writer and editor for art galleries, magazines, and independent publishers in New York. She continues to work with contemporary artists on research and text-based projects and is a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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