Venue: KJCC Auditorium // 53 Washington Square South, New York
OPENING PARTY: November 8, 2019 6PM - 8PM
ON VIEW: Friday, November 8, 2019 – Friday, February 28, 2020
Gallery hours: Monday through Friday 11AM to 7PM
The Latinx Project is pleased to present its second exhibition AFRO SYNCRETIC, curated by Yelaine Rodriguez.
Afro Syncretic presents the work of nine artists foregrounding the African roots of the Latinx diaspora. Collectively, the works center the vibrancy of diasporic blackness within Latinx culture urging viewers to confront dominant narratives of what it means to be Latinx.
These artists are part of a contemporary reassessment of African influences in Latinx communities that rejects trends to separate and undermine blackness. They provide pathways to appreciate the richness of contemporary Afro-syncretic interventions, breaking through dominant views of history and inspiring alternative futures.
Some of the works reference Afro-derived music, food, and religious practices. Others recreate memories that inspire new narratives about familiar, quotidian environments like a Nuyorican apartment while addressing the displacement of longtime residents. Others disrupt dominant beauty standards by challenging consumer goods. Some artists invite viewers to reflect on key social and political issues of the times by emphasizing the policing of black bodies and the problem of eroticizing and romanticizing a colonial past.
Together, these artists challenge viewers into a dialog that deliberately pays attention to African diasporic traditions in vernacular culture and their historical and living references. Most importantly, Afro Syncretic makes clear that visual artists are central to conjuring a social imaginary that centers Afro-Latinx in popular culture and all facets of life.
We are pleased to announce the selection of Yelaine Rodriguez as this year’s curator. Rodriguez is a Bronx-born, Afro-Dominican-American artist and curator who sources syncretic religions and historical references in the African diasporic communities to conceptualize wearable art and site-specific installations. Her exhibition Afro Syncretic presents the work of nine artists foregrounding the African roots of the Latinx diaspora building on themes found in Yelaine’s past work as an artist and curator. The exhibition centers the vibrancy of diasporic blackness within Latinx culture urging viewers to confront dominant narratives of what it means to be Latinx.
Rodriguez is also part of a generation of curators working to bring artist of the African diaspora into the forefront by curating shows like Resistance, Roots and Truth at the Caribbean Cultural Center and(under)REPRESENT(ed) Parsons Alumni Exhibit. A graduate of the Parsons New School for Design in 2013, recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship recipient at Wave Hill in 2018, and fellow at the Caribbean Cultural Center of the African Diaspora Institute in 2017, her work has been included at Miami Art Basel, Longwood Art Gallery, American Museum of Natural History, Wave Hill, Rush Art Gallery, El Centro Cultural de España and Centro León Biennial in D.R. She currently teaches at Parsons the New School of Design in NY.
Founded by Professor Arlene Dávila in August 2018, The Latinx Project is an initiative within NYU Arts and Sciences dedicated to fostering critical and comparative Latinx studies, research, and transnational, interdisciplinary networks linking scholarship, culture, art, and activism.
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