Beginning September 16th, UCR ARTSblock will present Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, the culmination of a worldwide exploration including 18 months of travel throughout 6 countries. Exhibition curators Robb Hernández, Tyler Stallings, and Joanna Szupinska-Myers visited more than 400 artists, curators, and scholars and selected over 30 contemporary artists, who work within the science fiction genre to imagine new realities and alternate worlds.
Mundos Alternos is a reflection of the curators’ relentless efforts to identify established and emergent voices in the field— many showing in Southern California for the first time. “Mundos Alternos is the first project that considers the convergence of visual art, science fiction, and Latin American studies—a convergence that has the potential to generate further inquiries in all of these fields,” says Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the California Museum of Photography and co-curator of the exhibition.
Visitors should expect the unexpected by way of large-scale installations, photographs, sculpture, drawings, paintings, performances, and video installations that encompass 11,000 square feet in ARTSblock’s two adjacent buildings: the California Museum of Photography (CMP) and the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts. The curatorial team has also produced a major contribution to the field of science fiction studies in the form of a heavily illustrated book that includes original essays by the curators and leading scholars with expertise in Latin American, Latino/a, and Chicano/a visual culture, with an emphasis on the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Central America.
“We have selected a swath of artists across the Americas who have created artworks that point to alternate worlds, in which self- determination and autonomy can occur in a present that is already the past pointing to a future,” explains Tyler Stallings, Artistic Director of the Culver Center of the Arts and co-curator of the exhibition.
Mundos Alternos brings together the work of international artists from across Latin America and Latino artists from throughout the United States. Artists early in their careers—including Beatriz Cortez (b. 1970, San Salvador, El Salvador), Jillian Mayer (b. 1984, Miami, FL), Hector Hernandez (b. 1974, Laredo, TX), and Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973, Porto Alegre, Brazil)—provide a new way of thinking about contemporary art in the Americas. While more established artists—Guillermo Gómez-Peña (b. 1955, Mexico City, Mexico), Gyula Kosice (b. 1924, Košice, Czechoslovakia, d. 2016, Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Rubén Ortiz Torres (b. 1964, Mexico City, Mexico) —illustrate an intersection between generations in a field that has never been explored with such scholarly aptitude and vigor. Mundos Alternos is the start of an idea that affects the way we think of contemporary art and will change the way history is written.
“This exhibition is the first effort of transnational scope to identify the growing tendency of science fiction in contemporary Latin American and Latino art, a tendency that recasts ‘the future’ at a time when debates over immigration reform, militarized borders, mass deportations, and efforts to build ‘the wall’ might suggest otherwise,” explains Robb Hernández, Assistant Professor of English at UCR and co-curator of the exhibition.
“Building on UCR’s international reputation in the study of science fiction, this ambitious exhibition contributes new scholarship to the field of contemporary Latin American and Latino/a artistic expression,” says Sheila Bergman, ARTSblock Executive Director.
The grand opening of Mundos Alternos will be held on September 30, 2017 from 6:00-9:00pm at UCR ARTSblock. Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas is on view from September 16, 2017 through February 4, 2018.
The exhibition is curated by Robb Hernández, Assistant Professor of English at UCR; Tyler Stallings, Artistic Director of the Culver Center of the Arts; and Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the California Museum of Photography. Kathryn Poindexter, CMP Assistant Curator, is Project Manager.
UCR ARTSblock is open 11am-5pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-7pm Friday-Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday, and closed Monday. Open late until 9pm every first Thursday of the month. Admission is $5.
For more information, visit artsblock.ucr.edu and pacificstandardtime.org.
View Riverside Art Museum’s exhibition Myth & Mirage: Inland Southern California, Birthplace of the Spanish Colonial Revival, also part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, during a concurrent Opening Celebration on September 30, 6:00-9:00pm.
The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.
Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty with arts institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
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