The Common Space: Artistic Production In and About the City

October 6, 2019 - February 24, 2020 General Public Exhibition

The Common Space: Artistic Production In and About the City explores the constant transformations of the urban environment in Puerto Rico during the last ten years through a sample that reviews the diversity of approaches to the phenomenon of the city among contemporary artists. The exhibition presents artists from several generations, born or living on the island, whose experience and interest in studying the city comes from the field of action —mural painting, graffiti, ephemeral interventions, and performance— as well as from the field of representation —painting, installations, found objects, photography, and video. The unifying element is their recognition of the public sphere as a space of freedom, a laboratory of experimentation where a diversity of subjectivities come together, or, in the words of the German philosopher Hannah Arendt, the only space for political action.

In this selection, we will find critical approaches to the phenomenon of urban space in response to socio-political and environmental concerns. The artworks reflect the coexistence of alternative cultures; they make visible the aesthetic qualities of the city; they study body behavior and interpersonal relationships; they invite public participation, and dare us to think about art as a living organism. Therefore, the artworks are the result of the complex range of realities and subjectivities present in our common space, becoming a mimic or reflection of the context around us. 

The participating artists, groups, and projects are: Ada Bobonis, Alexis Díaz, Ana María Marietta, Banksy, Colectivo Moriviví, Dhara Rivera, Hello Again, Joshua Santos Rivera - Bik Ismo, La Puerta, Letra Criolla, Mario E. Ramírez, Melissa Raymond and René Sandín, Mónica Rodríguez Medina, Myritza Castillo, Pedro Torres - Spear Torres, Philip Cruz-Villegas - Pun18, PISO Proyecto, Rachid Molinary, Rogelio Báez Vega, Rosenda Álvarez Faro, Sergio Vázquez, Sofía Maldonado, Turismo Interno and Vero Rivera. 

In addition to commissioned murals that will be completed during the exhibition, the programming includes conferences, guided tours, and on-site and off-site workshops, with the purpose of expanding the investigation into the field of action, and making visible the constant and creative activity of our urban space. 

Vanessa Hernández Gracia, Guest Curator