Join us on Friday, December 9 from 2-4 PM in our Kaplan Gallery to view Destierro (por ahora), a performance art piece by Javier Cardona Otero, whose work is included in the group exhibition, On the Coastlines of a Caribbean-yet-to-come, curated by 2022 VisArts’ Emerging Curator, Arnaldo Rodríguez Bagué.
Cardona Otero is an Afro-Puerto Rican transdisciplinary artist-educator whose work on art and education have been presented around the Caribbean, Latin America, and the US. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and New York University, and is currently a PhD candidate in arts education at Indiana University, Bloomington.
In Destierro (por ahora), Cardona Otero establishes a site-specific intimate relation with a generic domestic carpet. The embodied carpet not only gestures towards Puerto Rico’s colonial territoriality, but also delimits its tropical geography as a homogenized, flattened, and almost lifeless space. Cardona Otero intervenes the coloniality of the carpet’s domestic territory by reoccupying it, folding it in itself, covering his body with it, and moving as if they were each other. He effectively renders the domestic carpet’s superficial features as malleable, almost achieving a telluric plasticity affected by tides, tidal surges, erosion, hurricanes, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and half a millennium of deep colonialism.
With the collaboration of the performance’s audience, Cardona Otero transforms the domestic carpet’s colonial territory into an Antillean land by gathering, assembling, and tending to a tropical garden for contemplation, stillness, care, aliveness, and more-than-human improvisation with the gathered plants. The artist becomes a speculative tropical garden’s steward by calling to the audience to transplant themselves into Antillean lands through performance practice.
This event is free, but to reserve your space, please add a ticket and check out.
Image: Javier Cardona Otero, Destierro (por ahora), 2022