PROGRESSIVE TRANSITION Latin American Art Triennial

19/SEP/2019 – 05/NOV/2019


Francheska Alcántara, Blanka Amezkua, Diego Anaya, Diógenes Ballester, Marcos Dimas, Humberto Figueroa, Juan Manuel Espinoza Ysla, Gustavo Alfredo Larsen, René Maynez, Franck de las Mercedes, Naivy Pérez and Rafael Rodríguez

Progressive Transition is organized by Alexis Mendoza, New York Latin American Art Triennial Chief Curator and Luis Stephenberg, New York Latin American Art Triennial Director.

The Queens College Art Center, Rosenthal Library Clock Tower is pleased to present Progressive Transition, part of the 2019 Latin American Art Triennial organized by the Bronx Hispanic Festival Inc. The broad range of Triennial artists includes representation from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela. The project will create awareness of the rich international network with Latin American artists, many with strong links to New York City.
Progressive Transition explores the action and effect of moving from one state to another. More broadly, the project shows the drive towards transformation in the arts. The artists’ need to “feel part of something” that can likewise be recognized and defined by others will be explored within the exhibition. The work on view represents the artistic transition seen against a landscape of societal progress. The project highlights cultural exchange and, at its core, examines the implications of transition on an evolving Latin American culture.

In a globalized setting, Progressive Transition seeks to understand the particular need for affirmation in search of healing with regards to the spaces left behind within the sphere of immigration. Transition moves forward both for society and on a personal level.
The flowering of change —of transition — is to be seen everywhere in the field of creativity. Just as muralism in Mexico marks a reflection of national content, newly emerging cross-cultures expand into multiple, sometimes competing identities. New terms used in the United States such as Newyorican, Chicano, Dominica-ish or Latinx, all impact the artistic and personal sense of identity.
The inability to continue relying on traditional identities encourages an interest in emerging new identities. The artists represented in Progressive Transition belong to a variety of different generations. They have found motivation as regards to notions of immigration, religion, social justice, history and environmental awareness-raising, examining problems relevant to them, and underscoring that Latin American art has its roots in the sociopolitical.
Latin American art benefits from the recent increase in the number of artists— – linked by language— who live and work all over the world. They circulate internationally and influence the rising generation, making ever more types of communication possible in a world of ever-expanding, transitioning identities.


15/ABR/19 – 03/MAY/19


Ángel Delgado / Armando Guiller / Frank Guiller / Paola Martínez / Alexis Mendoza / Naivy Pérez / Elio Rodríguez

Historically, art has always been influenced by some combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. At one extreme, a creative being’s reward for making work is the satisfaction of the creative act itself. And at the other, art is produced purely for personal joy. The right mix of talent, intrinsic motivation, and external support is needed for a sustainable and vibrant environment for artistic innovation. The autonomy of Cuban culture outside Cuba, for decades considerately used its limited resources to have the greatest impact on the rest of the world. All controversy aside, by deliberately choosing to fund the most promising artists precisely when they found themselves on the brink of a breakthrough, they effectively managed to underwrite a very fertile period of artistic production in Cuba’s art history. This exhibition explores art‘s autonomy not as a genuine theoretical claim but as strategic one, where the suggestion is that only by claiming that art is indemnified by its very nature against moral culture can we prevent the forms of censorship that art is regularly subject to; this show includes artworks by Angel Delgado, Armando Guiller, Frank Guiller, Paola Martinez, Alexis Mendoza, Naivy Pérez and Elio Rodríguez. But this strategic appeal to autonomy may purchase art‘s freedom only at the cost of denying art‘s power. Much of contemporary Cuban art seems haunted by the past, by ghostly apparitions that are reanimated in reproductive media. By using dated, passé, or quasi-extinct stylistic devices, subject matter, and technologies, this art embodies a melancholic longing for an otherwise irrecoverable past. “Past Forward” examines myriad ways into recent practice and in the process underscores the unique power of reproductive media while documenting a widespread contemporary obsession, both collective and individual, with accessing the past. The works included in the exhibition range from photography, painting, sculpture and installations…


15/ABR/19 – 27/ABR/19


Vuk Cosic (Slovenia) / Yucef Merhi (Venezuela) / Christian Oyarzún Roa (Chile)
Nina Coulson (UK) / Hamilton Mestizo (Colombia) / Filio Gálvez (Cuba)
El Diletante Digital (Cuba) / Rewell Altunaga (Cuba) / Naivy Pérez (Cuba)
Serones (Cuba) / Rodolfo Peraza (Cuba)

A new governability crisis has emerged, a side effect of what is now accepted as “social media warfare”. The thread titled “Are You an NPC?” started by an anonymous 4chan user on a video game message board (July 2016), unleashed a trolling campaign on social media Twitter platforms. As part of a fake maneuver, accompanied by slogans and a call to action, with misleading information regarding the midterm elections in the US, NPC (Non-Playable Character) spread out virally with over 1500 bots. The term “Non-Playable Character”, originally referred to a video game persona that is controlled by artificial intelligence or simple code, was given on Twitter to people who “autonomously follow group thinks and social trends”. In 2018 the meme was used for trolling all political adversaries that addressed its criteria, and the symbol established (in the hands of young gamers) the ideological battle within politics in the digital realm.

NPC: Non-Playable Character Open Studio explores how video game culture and the Internet have radically changed the politics, information and the field of art nowadays, especially in its production, distribution, and reception. The exhibition brings together a number of works with a variety of mediums—including paintings, drawings, site-specific actions, machinimas, video screenings, game VR and webVR-based projects— related to the broad effects of the game art industry and the Web on artistic practice and contemporary culture.

Topics explored in the exhibition include emergent digital communities and Internet as a platform for surveillance; ideological and political battles and resistance; the circulation and control of fake news and missed information; and a new perspective for virtual communities and subjectivities.


Una nueva crisis de gobernabilidad ha emergido, efecto paralelo de lo que hoy se conoce como “guerra en las redes sociales” (“social media warfare, en inglés”). La cadena titulada «¿Eres un NPC?», iniciada por un usuario anónimo de 4chan en un tablero de mensajes de videojuegos (julio, 2016), desencadenó la polémica campaña de trolling en la red social Twitter. Como parte de una maniobra falsa, con consignas y “call to action”, en relación a las elecciones de medio término en los Estados Unidos, el apelativo (Non-Playable Character, tomado de la jerga de los videojuegos), se propagó intencionalmente con más de 1500 bots en la plataforma.   El término “Personajes No Jugables” (NPC, siglas en inglés) originalmente referido a un rol dentro de los videojuegos controlado por inteligencia artificial o simple código, se ajustó en Twitter a personas que «seguían de forma autónoma los pensamientos y las tendencias sociales de grupo». Para el año 2018 acontece como el símbolo que estableció (en manos de gamers jóvenes) la batalla ideológica de la política en el reino digital, utilizando el meme como una definición de troll para todos los adversarios políticos que abordaban sus criterios.   NPC: Non-Playable Character Open Studio explora cómo la cultura de los videojuegos e Internet han modificado radicalmente la política, la información y el arte en la actualidad, especialmente en su producción, distribución y recepción. La exposición reúne un conjunto de obras ​—​cuya variedad de medios oscila entre pinturas, dibujos, ​site-specific​, machinimas y videojuegos en Realidad Virtual (y webVR)​— ​relacionados con los amplios efectos de la industria del entretenimiento y la Web como práctica artística y cultura contemporáneas. Los temas abordados en la muestra se refieren a las comunidades digitales emergentes e Internet como sitio de vigilancia; las batallas ideológicas y políticas de resistencia; la circulación y el control de noticias falsas e información perdida; así como nuevas perspectivas de grupos y subjetividades virtuales.


13/ABR/19 – 25/MAY/19


The exhibition Paper Trail focuses on works on paper, including painting, and selected drawings, that explore and manipulate the materiality of paper itself. The featured artists emerged during the 1990s, when an interest in everyday materials and nontraditional processes fueled a desire to reinvestigate and redeploy some of the most familiar or humble mediums, including paper. The project presents work on paper produced by Latin American artists associated with Figurative, Abstract, Experimental and Conceptual art.

The examination of a broad array of artworks by these practitioners reveals distinctive bodies of work that, far from being impersonal or uniform, are as diverse as the artists are innovative


08/MAR/19 – 22/MAR/19


For the last 15 years Naivy Pérez based her work on the concept that art may exist solely as an idea and not in the physical realm, -the message is what’s important, the idea is everything-. While studying at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA, The University of the Arts) In Havana, Cuba, Naivy saw her work as a reaction against formalism and commodification and believed that art was created when the analysis of an art object succeeded the object itself and saw artistic knowledge as equal to artistic production. Promised Land is a survey exhibition of the last 15 years of Naivy Pérez’s artistic production; it’s a look back into the artist artworks from 2004 to the present. Naivy Pérez (Ciego de Ávila, Cuba, 1986) graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. Her artistic process shifts from radical, lyrical performances to minimalist installations integrating new technologies. For years, she has worked on a series of performances in which she tries to embody a number of social roles associated with the Cuban woman (housewife, brave soldier, prostitute, etc.). She also employed and gathers objects (ready mades) and manipulates them and/or transforms the traditional use of these objects.

The center piece in the show in titled Promised Land is a microscopic grain of sand, is a clear example of the theory behind the debate established by Naivy. You’ll need a magnifying glass or superhero vision to check out these miniature works of art. She challenges the notions about art, society, politics, and the media with the theory that art is more than a representational expression. She argued that art can be written, published, performed, fabricated, or simply an idealistic concept and still have communicative impact. In artworks such as: Genesis 3:16 in this piece she explored the passage in the Bible where woman deals with the two aspects of the married woman’s life, as wife and as mother. She denied the idea the woman —is condemned to a state of sorrow and subjection: proper punishments of a sin in which she had gratified her pleasure and her pride. I will greatly multiply thy sorrow —. Pérez intent to convey a concept to the viewer, rejecting the importance of the creator or a talent in the traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture. Works are strongly based on an object or a transformation, or manipulation of an object which is the case of La disputa del nuevo mundo (The dispute of the new world) a white painted World Globe she viewed the work primarily as a concept and allowed for the physical artworks not to be touch or repainted and even refabricated, the purification of a dream planet with all us in it. In this period not only Naivy Pérez challenged the importance of art traditions and discredited the significance of the materials and finished product, she also brought up the question at the nature of the art form – whether artworks were also meant to be proactive. From the beginning Perez’s understanding of art was expressed in the form of installations, digital art and performances.

She expresses a political content that underlies many works, where the event is not free to disregard international constant ranging from a long lasting debate on identity, culture and the legitimacy of using artistic discourses associated with being a Cuban artist. The work of Naivy Pérez, carry the representation that has gradually become a steady stream of messages short and fast, extremely fast consumption and disposable.  Rather, to speak from the depths of our being, the first thing we do is to looking clumsiness with the words that could reflect our emotion or our opinion. Search among hundreds of clichés to end with an open dialogue.  Faced expressive power exercised by the image, the work of the artist is to generate fissures that hurt the superstructure control. So some artists, still very few, addressed this environment that disturbs us in the most intimate, because we are confronted her and rocks, minimalistic images flowing in front of our eyes, immersed and influenced us.  A work that assumes the over saturation of stimuli from the analytical point of view will undoubtedly be an attempt to control this environment, the space, the gallery, as if each piece had been created with a form of catharsis aesthetics, which exorcised everything that stimulate the human experience. When an artist like Naivy Pérez uses all these forms of art and ways of expression, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the artwork become alive. Promised Land, the exhibition challenges the validity of traditional art, the existing structures for making, publicizing and viewing art. Moreover, it claims that the materials used and the product of the process is unnecessary.  As the idea or ideas is of major significance. Naivy’s body of work consists of information, including perhaps photographs, written texts or displayed objects. It has come to include all art forms outside traditional painting or sculpture, such as installation art, video art and performance art. Because the work does not follow a traditional form it demands a more active response from the viewer “is made to engage the mind of the viewer rather than his eye or emotions.”, in other words it could be argued that the work of art in fact only exists in the viewer’s mental participation. “It doesn’t really matter if the viewer understands the concepts of the artist by seeing the art. Once out of her hand the she has no control over the way a viewer will perceive the work. Different people will understand the same thing in a different way –. She deliberately produced works that are difficult if not impossible to classify according to the old traditional format. Naivy Pérez consciously produced work that could not be placed in a specific art category, or perhaps resulted in no actual art object which hence emphasize that the idea is more important than the artifact. Her approach is not necessarily logical.  Artworks like “Baby Don’t Cry” and “00:00:00”, the object is not an object it becomes a discourse, a simple analysis of current subject or social issue. The artwork doesn’t need be complex. Most artworks included in this project are fairly simple.

Echoing the difficulty in classification as mentioned above, her vision cannot be defined in terms of any medium or style. Rather, it can be defined in the way it questions what art truly is. Traditionally, an ordinary object such as a rock in a shape of a heart, “Sacred Heard” (Sagrado Corazón) cannot be thought to be art because it is not created by an artist or has any meaning of art, it is not unique, and it possesses hardly any probable visual properties of the traditional, hand-crafted artwork; an intervention, in which image, text or object is positioned in an unpredicted context, hence rousing awareness to that context: e.g. the museum or a public space; written text, where the concept, intention or exploration is presented in the form of language; documentation, where the actual work, concept or action, can only be presented by the evidence of videos, maps, charts, notes or, most often, photographs. When In the presence of Naivy’s work one almost always begins to oneself questions, what is it? What she try to express? Etc. I could argue that it is completed by the intention. “This could be art”: “this” being presented as object, image, performance or idea revealed in some other way. Naivy Pérez’s proposal is therefore “reflexive”: the object refers back to the subject; it represents a state of continual self-critique.

Cuban-born Alexis Mendoza is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, and author. Mr. Mendoza exhibited his artworks in museums and galleries around the world in countries such as: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and United State. His artworks are part of public and private collections such as:  Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC) Santiago de Chile; Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brasil; Fundacion Cultural del Banco Nacional de Bolivia; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, San Jose, Costa Rica; Museo de Arte de Pnce, Puerto Rico; The Centre for Graphic Arts HogeDRUKgebied, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Museo Claudio León Sempere, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Centro Historico de la Ciudad Durango, Durango, Mexico; Highview Point Corp. New York City, USA; The McCarton Faundation, New York City, USA; ARTESTAÇÃO, Rio Grande/RS/, Brasil ; Museum of Art Satu-Mare, Romania; El Museo del Barrio, New York, Museo National de Bellas Artes, Habana, Cuba; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Mercosur, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Museum of Modern Art New York, Latin American Art Collection; Centro Cultural Rosacruz, Santiago De Chile, Chile; Aires de Córdoba Cultural Association, Spain; Valentín Ruiz Aznar Center of Art, Spain; Museu de Arte,  Paraguaçu Paulista, São Paulo, Brasil; Museo de la Artesanía, Havana, Cuba. Alexis Mendoza is also the author of books, such as: “Latin America, The Culture and the New Men”; “Objective Reference of Painting: The work of Ismael Checo, 1986-2006”; Reflections: The Sensationalism of the Art from Cuba. All three published by Wasteland Press; and Rigo Peralta: Revelaciones de un Universo Mistico, publish by Argos Publications, Dominican Republic. Alexis Mendoza Lives and Work in The Bronx, New York.


16/OCT/18 – 16/NOV/18


(…) el concepto de territorio presupone ciertamente el de espacio, pero no consiste, absolutamente, en la delimitación objetiva de un lugar geográ?co preciso. En efecto, Deleuze y Guattari nos han mostrado que el territorio no es anterior a la marca cualitativa; al contrario, es la marca lo que produce un territorio. Tampoco las funciones en un territorio son fundantes; presuponen una expresividad que decanta territorio. Por lo tanto, la territorialización es el acto mismo del ritmo hecho expresión o componentes de medios tornados cualitativos y, en ese sentido, el territorio sería el efecto mayor del arte.*

*Antelo, Raúl (2017). Territorio no es objeto. Córdoba, Argentina


22/NOV/14 – 25/DIC/14

Naivy Pérez & Rewell Altunaga
December 22 @boffo_ny

Social media technologies bear diverse possibilities for human connection on immense and unprecedented scales. Analogizing these potentials, Naivy Pérez and Rewell Altunaga present “From East to West,” a participatory project that aspires to collect and circulate images of the sunset from around the world on the Winter Solstice. Presenting the images on Instagram—a platform that is constantly updating and that inherently emphasizes the here and now—the artists lay bare the temporal complexity of the world around us. They approach the sunset as a singular event that is both globally shared and uniquely experienced, subject to infinite variations of perspective, climate, and position. Pérez and Altunaga will source images from their wide-ranging peer network, and invite Instagram users to post images of the Winter Solstice sunset from wherever they are, using the tag #fromeasttowestsolstice. These images will be immediately reposted on @boffo_ny, and all photographers will be credited as collaborators. Through this open call for images from across the world, and the near-live posting of sunset images, the aggregate representation of the setting sun stretches a fleeting event into a perpetual present.