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Space, Unlimited

A mixed media installation art by Venezuelan, Puerto Rican and Cuban-American contemporary artists

February 21, 2009 – April 12, 2009

"Space, Unlimited" includes the work of seven contemporary artists who challenge the boundaries of physical, perceptual or psychological space. Through a variety of mediums, from painting and photography to assemblage and video, these artists defy expectations that may be traditionally imposed over the form or content of their work or their artistic identities.

The work of the Guerra de la Paz duo of Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz (who have recently generated widespread interest among the Miami art-going public) creates its own world. Socks, shirts, pants, dresses, sweaters, and skirts become a forest of tree trunks, branches, leaves, and flowers. The result is Spring Sprang Sprung, a large-scale installation consisting of seemingly limitless numbers of garments, each telling the story of its prior owner and effectively mourning their losses. The recycling of the clothing comments on material excesses, while the fusion of the articles presents the notion of a society that, in spite of heralding the individual, is ultimately interconnected and whole.

Also overwhelming at times, Lilian Garcia-Roig paints outdoor environments over the course of several days, thereby capturing various shades of light into a single large-scale canvas. Her cumulative landscape approach results in dense, chaotic landscapes that engulf the spectator's senses with thick layers of paint, applied through finger painting, squeezing tubes of pigment directly onto the canvas, and applying paint with brushes. Her work is a visual barrage that creates the illusion of being hopelessly lost in the woods.

Magdalena Fernández and Angela Bonadies reference Venezuela's modernist history and art, predicated on the post-World War II oil boom a half century ago.

Fernández takes cues from Venezuelan geometric and kinetic abstraction in her video and installation works, making use of industrial materials such as aluminum, rubber and optical fiber, as well as natural light, water, and earth. Her 1pm006, Ara Ararauna video piece is one example of this fusion of organic and digital elements, as she employs both parrot sounds and digital animation. Bonadies explores more intimate spaces in her Cosas que hablan (Things that Speak) series, offering glimpses into the lives of ordinary people in their living spaces. Her sitters are captured among their personal belongings, clothing, and daily surroundings. Old family photographs, accumulated souvenirs, and religious objects can all be found in the backgrounds of these psychologically mysterious photographs.

Ada Bobonis and Nayda Collazo-Llorens, both originally from Puerto Rico (Bobonis lives in San Juan, while Collazo-Llorens divides her time between Pittsburgh and New York), explore themes of cultural interplay in their respective installation works.

Bobonis's installation Ventanas (Window s), composed of light boxes, a sculptural staircase, and colored electrical cords, uses both two- and three-dimensional space to conjure imagery of the modernization of La Concha Hotel in San Juan, once a proud example of progress during the optimistic 1950s. The juxtaposition of images found inside of the windows, ranging from a scenic beachfront to urban congestion, may comment on a perceived lack of progress on the island.

Collazo-Llorens is more concerned with the personal navigation of steering between two cultures and languages (Puerto Rico and the continental United States). Her ESCaperucita & Little Red Riding Hood installation tells the story of a bilingual, same-sex couple journeying up the Atlantic coast. They encounter danger, send distress signals, leaving the viewer to ponder if text technologies are even absorbed by their intended recipients, or ignored.

Alain Guerra
Neraldo de la Paz
Lilian Garcia-Roig
Magdalena Fernández
Angela Bonadies
Ara Ararauna
Ada Bobonis
Nayda Collazo-Llorens