New Earth: Caribbean Mythmaking

Sabrina_Gallery_Websites-4Originating from diverse Caribbean hubs around the globe, including Bronx, New York; Miami, Florida; and Carolina, Puerto Rico, artists in New Earth presented counter-canon narratives that rewrote linear storytelling. Chicago-based artist Joelle Mercedes infused metaphorical concepts within objects often found in intimate domestic spaces as a method of coping. Through an assortment of  food, water and references to animals found in the Dominican Republic and its Diaspora, viewers were engulfed by the water-worlds he constructed in order to demonstrate the transience of our natural world. Cordova’s post-industrial fantasies present in the video series “Echoes of a Tumbling Throne,” exhibited psychedelic interpretations of Santeria’s orishas, colonial voyages, mutant robotics, and taxidermy.  Her sculptures used forms like plastic corals as sites for imagining ourselves outside our current biological orders, allowing viewers to ruminate on issues surrounding climate change and environmental decay. Jacquelyn Guerrero’s installation “Que Bonita Bandera” presented a multi-color flag hung above a sacred mound of sand, glitter, and shells. The hand-stiched sequin evil eye on the flag signified a yearning for protection from colonial powers in the Caribbean. 

Together, all three sound and installation artists uncovered the complexities of Caribbean heritage by way of ornate installations involving the natural elements.   They boldly re-imagined colonial narratives to form a new cultural mythology that tap into natural cycles of rebirth, death, and transformation.

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