exhibitions |

none of the above

Contemporary Work By Puerto Rican Artists

May 1 – October 3, 2004

Manuel Acevedo, Allora & Calzadilla, Javier Cambre, Nayda Collazo-Llórens, Dzine, Cari González-Casanova, Ivelisse Jiménez, Charles Juhász-Alvarado, Ignacio Lang, Malika, Arnaldo Morales, Enoc Pérez, Chemi Rosado Seijo, Carlos A. Rivera Villafañe

Curated by Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Deborah Cullen & Steven Holmes

Produced by Real Art Ways / Will K. Wilkins, Executive Director

Check out photos from the opening reception on the EVENTS page.


The Artists

The Curators

Real Room

Live Arts




NONE OF THE ABOVE: Contemporary Work by Puerto Rican Artists proposes an alternative way of seeing and thinking about Puerto Rican art, re-shaping the standard curatorial frameworks which have included work from Puerto Rico based on nationalism, identity politics and/or geography.

This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue identify a strong critical and aesthetic strain within contemporary Puerto Rican art practice that is best described as a kind of Neo-Conceptualism. The artists are informed by personal and artistic issues. They interact with, and respond to, a wide array of global concerns and interests, broad topics such as gender, consumerism, world history, film and literature. While the works negotiate location, politics and identity on certain levels, these are not their primary topics. This group is distinct from artists who have been popularly selected to represent Puerto Rico – and whose agendas are decidedly more personal or nationalistic explorations of identity, including well known artists such as Antonio Martorell, Pepón Osorio and Juan Sánchez. In fact, one of the premises of this project is that while conceptual art, minimal art, interactions and performative "body" art, among others, have been pioneered since the 1960s by Puerto Rican artists of the period, these contributions have been under-recognized due to the overriding problematic nature of Puerto Rico's – and Puerto Ricans' – status.

The title of the exhibition, NONE OF THE ABOVE, is borrowed from Frances Negrón Muntaner's forthcoming book. This expression refers to the plebiscite held on December 13, 1998 in Puerto Rico asking voters to voice their opinion on the geopolitical status of the Island. Puerto Rico is considered an "Estado Libre Asociado," literally, a "free associated state," or a commonwealth, of the United States. Its residents carry U.S. passports. While they are locally autonomous, the Island receives Federal assistance. However, Puerto Rican residents are unable to vote in U.S. Presidential elections and they do not have any congressional representation. In this plebiscite, an impressive 71.3% turned out to vote. While 46.5% opted for statehood, only 2.5% chose independence, and even less (0.4%) wished to maintain the status of territorial commonwealth. Interestingly, a majority of votes (50.3%) were cast for "none of the above," perhaps in a bid to reject political machinations and either-or polarities, and to bring the question to a new way of conceiving status.

While the exhibition is not an historical survey, the catalogue will further explore this contemporary generation as well as analyze some of its antecedents through the groundbreaking work and writing of artists such as Rafael Montañez Ortiz, Carlos Irizarry, Rafael Ferrer, Papo Colo, Néstor Otero, Félix González Torres, Edín Vélez and others.

— Co-curators Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Deborah Cullen & Steven Holmes

NONE OF THE ABOVE will travel to El Museo del Arte del Puerto Rico from January 22 - August 28, 2005. For info, visit www.mapr.org.

To order the catalogue for NONE OF THE ABOVE, email visualarts@realartways.org or mail a note of request to NOTA Catalogue, c/o Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St, Hartford, CT 06106.

.: Pepón Osorio's "En La Barbería No Se Llora"

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The Artists

More images coming soon!


Manuel Acevedo creates photographic projects articulating the latent possibilities of public places. His ongoing series, Altered Sites, documents central and/or iconic urban spaces that are currently abandoned or under-utilized. By drawing on top of the photographs, he transforms bleak landscapes into visionary architectural proposals. For NONE OF THE ABOVE, Acevedo has photographed the corner of Park Street and Main Street in Hartford.

left: Manuel Acevedo, "Hartford Revisions Plan: Park and Main I, II and III", 2004, 3 silver gelatin prints, 20" x 40" each. Courtesy of the artist.


Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla combine artistic, scientific and frequently humorous approaches to comment on specific urban, political, economic and communication systems. The video Returning a Sound presents a young man riding around the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, on a motorbike re-tooled to incorporate a trumpet as its exhaust pipe. Thus, his journey celebrates a reclaiming of the landscape recently vacated by the U.S. Marines.

left: Allora & Calzadilla, "Returning a Sound", 2004, color video and sound, DVD, 5:42 min. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris.


Javier Cambre examines cinema and its frequent relationship to architecture. In Glass Cinema House, Cambre explores the "glass box" of modernism as he projects a looped fragment of his video Paseante (2004), where a solitary woman wanders inside the empty buildings of the Universidad de Puerto Rico in San Juan. This solitary walk takes place within buildings designed by Heinrich Klumb (1905, Cologne – 1984, San Juan), whose architecture, created in the '50s and '60s, was a response to the social and climatological conditions of his adopted homeland in the Caribbean.

left: Javier Cambre, "Glass Cinema House (Casa de cinema de cristall)", 2004, plexiglass, video projection, metal, 56" x 34" x 80". Courtesy of the Artist.

collazo llorens

Nayda Collazo-Llórens creates digital projections that employ repetition, variation, layering and sequencing. These forge autobiographical, but disjunctive narratives. She frequently uses double projections to offer a layering of diaristic imagery alluding to passing time and subjective experience. Stream of consciousness text constantly shifts between Spanish and English as the frames both synch and contrast.

left: Nayda Collazo-Llórens, "Channels V4" (still), 2004, two-channel video projection installation, 4:32 min. Courtesy of the Artist.


Dzine (Carlos Rolón) is a painter and record producer whose two forms of artistic expression have strong relationships and effects on each other. Abstract biomorphic forms vibrate with color and rhythm, unleashing a visual energy and lyricism. Recently, he has begun to incorporate glass beads for the first time onto his surfaces of his works. The tiny clear beads fuse with the colorful shapes beneath a shimmering, vibrant, jewel-like effect.

left: Dzine, "Beautiful Otherness", 2004, Acrylic and glass beads on canvas, 6' x 38', Fabricated in collaboration with Maya Romanoff. Courtesy of moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago.


Cari González-Casanova pursues what she terms "pseudo-architectures." Using the forms and visual languages of architecture (the model, the computer plan, scale drawing proposals, etc.) she creates fictional spaces that reveal much about human temperament. In this case, her proposal Tree House is a rug that serves as a portable environment, capable of instantly surrounding or camouflaging one's surroundings.


Ivelisse Jiménez uses painting as a point of departure. She creates structures that are both attractive and protective, images that grapple with vision, composition and the viewer's experience. Her works simultaneously reveal and conceal themselves; they constantly shift between deconstructing and reconstructing themselves as the spectator moves around them seeking to glimpse the whole.

left: Ivelisse Jiménez, "Ten con Ten #2", 2004, Mixed media installation, 104" x 82" x 32" (approx). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Punto Gris, Puerto Rico.

juhasz alvarado

Charles Juhász-Alvarado creates elaborate installations that compel viewers to investigate, piecing together complex arrangements formed by ambitious, oversized, toy-like sculptural parts, participatory processes and emblematic narratives. The work, I-scream (resist!), refers to the legendary 1983 robbery of Wells-Fargo in West Hartford by the Puerto Rican pro-independence group, Los Macheteros. His work both references this event and transforms it, turning a felony event that serves as a point of pride for certain Puerto Ricans into an ice cream truck that freezes resistance, and/or offers frozen treats as opposed to hoarding dollars.

left: Charles Juhász-Alvarado, "I-scream: (resist!)", 2003. (The anniversary of Albizu's birthday in Hartford, CT. 1983 1500lbs. from Wells Fargo: $7,007,151.98), mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

ignacio lang

Ignacio (C.I.G.) Lang's conceptual photographs and objects layer elements while defining his relationship to social and physical space. The two photographs in this exhibition trace the sound of an echo in the landscape by photographing the artist’s shadow, which during the interval between the two images, has moved. It is an attempt to map time and space through the cast of a voice.

left: Ignacio Lang, "Eco", 2002, digital photograph, diptych, edition 1 of 3, 48" x 48". Courtesy of the Artist.


Malika creates abstract and saturated prints, surrounded by fleshy frames that form a loose visual narrative. She perceives her photographic groupings as a form of non-verbal communication which she likens to dream-time experience, understood with one's whole being, rather than through linear or classic logic sequences. Her image juxtapositions include glimpses of color, patterns and surreal images sliced from day-to-day life.

left: Malika, "Travel Series", 2004, photograph, 15.25" x 10.75". Courtesy of the artist.


Arnaldo Morales' work’s bilingual title, Vainilla (Vanilla Power) Power, refers to issues of U.S. military and cultural dominance. The idea of a crossbow is monumentalized and transformed by mechanical bricollage, and proposed by the artist as a futile weapon. The work both implicates and thrills the participant who must take physical and psychological responsibility of his/her interaction with the object.

left: Arnaldo Morales, "Vainilla Power No. 04", 2004, industrial materials, 74" x 42" x 125". Courtesy of the artist.


Enoc Pérez uses a laborious handcrafted process that, in essence, reproduces a mechanical color printing process. Employing images reminiscent of 1960s postcards that depict hotels, his work is thus about memory and nostalgia. The images are as much about personal experience as they are homages to Puerto Rican modern architectural landmarks carried forth as hotels that encouraged tourism.

left: Enoc Pérez, "Caribe Hilton, San Juan", 72.25" x 90.125". Courtesy Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NYC.

chemi rosado seijo

Chemi Rosado Seijo's project was originally created as a commentary on the resurgence of painting in the 1990s. With this multi-part work, the artist presents a display of varied objectified paintings. He repetitively recreates the image of Malevich's cube, and the idea of the 4th dimension, by transforming a grouping of Salon-style "paintings" into a Claes-Oldenbergian soft sculptures.

left: Chemi Rosado Seijo, "Renacimiento del Cubo Plano 2" (Renaissance of the Flat Cube 2), mixed media installation, variable dimensions. Collection of Diana and Moises Berezdivin, Puerto Rico. Courtesy of Galeria Viota, Puerto Rico.


Carlos A. Rivera Villafañe's paintings, sculptures, installations and videos deals with themes of violence and urban confrontation. In this project, he programs common highway construction signs to flash unexpected slogans at the public. These sayings have to do with the consumer, commercial aspects of weapons, problematizing the contemporary attraction of armaments and violence.


Text by Co-Curators Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Deborah Cullen and Steven Holmes.

.: Malika
.: Nayda Collazo-Llórens
.: Allora & Calzadilla (Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris)
.: Enoc Pérez (Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NYC)
.: Dzine (moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago)
.: Ivelisse Jiménez

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The Curators

Deborah Cullen has served as Curator of El Museo del Barrio, in New York, since 1999. During that time she initiated El Museo's Bienal: The S-Files/The Selected Files, a showcase of NYC Latino artists, and curated Here & There/Aquí y Allá: Six Artists from San Juan, which traveled to the University of Houston's Blaffer Art Gallery, and Voces y Visiones: Highlights from El Museo del Barrio's Permanent Collection, among other exhibitions. Prior to working with El Museo del Barrio, Cullen was Project Director and Curator at The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Print Collection in New York. She is the recipient of Faith Ringgold's Anyone Can Fly Foundation Curatorial Award and the J. Paul Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship.

Silvia Karman Cubiñá is currently the Director of the Moore Space in Miami and an independent curator. Among the projects she has co-curated at the Moore Space are an exhibition of work by Yang Fudong and Jim Lambie, and Interplay. From 2001-2003, Cubiñá was Adjunct Curator of Institute of Visual Arts (inova) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has curated exhibitions for many spaces in the continental United States and Puerto Rico, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, the Museo de las Américas, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and the Museo de San Juan; and multiple project room at ARCO and ArtMiami. In 2000, she was Curator and Project Director for Pepón Osorio's Door to Door, a collaborative multi-site exhibition project.

Steven Holmes has served as Director of Visual Arts at Real Art Ways since June 2000. Among his curatorial projects for Real Art Ways have included Container (including work by Micah Lexier and Colleen Wolstenholme), This Is Then (including work by the Atlas Group), Electronic Models and Acquiring Taste (including work by Mel Bochner, Tolland Grinnell, Panamarenko, Sally Mann and Hanne Darboven). He was a founding member of The Khyber Arts Society in Halifax, Canada, an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary arts center, has published in the areas of critical theory and art criticism (Rewire, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, MAIN), and has spent almost a decade in education as an instructor of visual arts at numerous colleges, including the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

.: The Moore Space
.: El Museo del Barrio
.: The Khyber Arts Society
.: Aquí y Álla/Here & There
.: Real Art Ways Archives

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Real Room

A series of exhibitions featuring Puerto Rican artists will run concurrently with NONE OF THE ABOVE in the Real Room.

Miguel Trelles
Wednesday, April 28 – Sunday, May 16
Opening with NOTA on Saturday, May 1, 6-9pm

Ana Rosa Rivera Marrero
Thursday, May 20 – Sunday, June 13
Opening Thursday, May 20, 6-8pm (artist talk at 5pm)

Christian Curiel
Thursday, June 17 – Sunday, July 11
Opening Thursday, June 17, 6-8pm (artist talk at 5pm)

Miguel Luciano
Thursday, July 15 – Monday, September 6
Opening Thursday, July 15, 6-8pm (artist talk at 5pm)

Pablo Delano
Wednesday, September 8 – Sunday, October 17
Reception Thursday, September 16, 6-8pm (artist talk at 5pm)

More information is available on the visual arts page.

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Live Arts

Glaisma Pérez-Silva: De lo Erótico a lo Étnico
Saturday, May 8, 8pm

Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadors
Saturday, June 5, 8pm

Events to be announced throughout the run of NONE OF THE ABOVE.

More information available on the live arts page.

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NONE OF THE ABOVE was made possible by United Technologies Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Travelers Foundation.


Additional support was provided by Aetna, the Ford Foundation and the Wallace Foundation.


Major support for programs at Real Art Ways comes from Real Art Ways Members, Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign, United Technologies, Fleet Bank, Travelers Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Ford Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and The Wallace Foundation.

Media sponsorship provided by The Hartford Courant and ctnow.com.

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