Day-to-day life, local stereotypes and the use of cultural elements and the urban world as symbols are the main interests which Quisqueya Henríquez (Havana, 1966) has made her own between the late 1980s and the current day. In the context of the constant predetermination of the Caribbean universe, the visual language of this artist has been defined by mainly conceptual and post-minimalist explorations. The importance of the experiences of the viewer as he or she examines her pieces, in addition to the significance of the creative process, removes, in Henríquez’s view, the relevance of the pieces as a finished object. And it is precisely a large portion of all this that can be enjoyed in Quisqueya Henriquez: The World Outside, A Survey Exhibition 1991-2007, a show organised by The Bronx Museum of the Arts of New York, and which, after being on display there, can now be seen at the Miami Art Museum. This modest but complete exhibition is made up of 22 installations, sculptures, photographs, videos, drawings and interactive pieces which form the first retrospective show on Henríquez. Here, the guiding force of her creative path is revealed: her fascination toward looking at the world outside the Caribbean, as is mentioned in the show’s title, from the perspective of the cultural nature of the Caribbean itself; in the case of this artist, this is imprinted not only because of her insular origin, but also because of the places where she has lived: the Yucatan Peninsula, Miami, and, above all, Santo Domingo, where she spent more than ten years.
The critical nature of Henríquez’s work is translated into an ironic and playful tautology in which her wide range of media allows her to subvert cultural codes and social concepts, by means of a great variety of formats and materials. We are thus presented with a very local body of work, which, at the same time, is rooted in basic references on an international level, which lead the artist to build a discourse loaded with metaphors, suggestions, games of perception and resignifications. To this is added the contribution of three elements which she recurrently examines: the treatment and nature of the spaces she works on, the explorations around the dimension of time and the sense of the reality which is experienced in the Caribbean.
In Jugando con la adversidad (2001-2006), the central piece of the first display room, we see basketballs and baseballs which have been transformed, by means of a singular manual finish, into feminine accessories and daily objects. Here, it must be pointed out that some of the visual explorations carried out by Henríquez include examining the possibilities offered by natural, industrial and recycled materials, to the extent that she has even used seaweed in her works. Another piece which stands out in this show is Espacio Público (2006), which reflects on the Caribbean’s, and Latin America’s, relationship with public monuments. In Helado de Agua de Mar Caribe (2002) she examines the ridiculing of local sexual stereotypes, while in Jugadores de Béisbol (2007) she mocks the excessive admiration for baseball which is found in this region. In this way, it is possible to say that the central body of this artist’s work is well represented here, revealing the way in which syncretism repeatedly renders the Caribbean a creative excuse.
ARTECONTEXTO. Arte, cultura, nuevos medios. Madrid, Nº 19 / 2008 / 3 (Translation by: Joanna Porter), pp. 72-73.
“Quisqueya Henriquez: The World Outside, A Survey Exhibition 1991 – 2007″
Miami Art Museum, Miami
25.04.08 – 20.07.08
latinoamerican art, politic art, sculpture, photography, individual, installation, videoart
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Topic: 2008, ...Texts of exhibitions, ..All the texts and videos, Latinoamerican Art, Past exhibitions Tags: latinoamerican art, politic art, sculpture, photography, individual, installation, videoart