MOLAA presents Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago

By Julia P. Herzberg

With this seventh posting, I continue to inform our online readers of the unprecedented exhibition Pacific Standard Time: LALA/ that offers thematically linked exhibitions and programs during a four-month-long, region-wide exploration of Latin American and Latino Art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

MOLAA presents Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago

Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago will call attention to a region of the Americas that is difficult to categorize and often overlooked: the island nations of the Caribbean. The exhibition proposes an “archipelagic model”—defining the Caribbean from the perspective of its archipelago of islands, as distinct from the continental experience—to study issues around race, history, the legacy of colonialism, and the environment. The exhibition features artists from the Hispanophone, Anglophone, Francophone, and Dutch Caribbean. Relational Undercurrents will emphasize the thematic continuities of art made throughout the archipelago and its diasporas, challenging conventional geographic and conceptual boundaries of Latin America. This approach draws particular attention to issues arising from the colonial legacy that are relevant to Latin America as a whole, but which emerge as central to the work of 21st-century Caribbean artists, including Janine Antoni (Bahamas), Humberto Diáz (Cuba), Jorge Pineda (Dominican Republic), and Allora & Calzadilla (Puerto Rico). The curator is Tatiana Flores.

The exhibition will be featured at MOLAA from September 16, 2017 through January 2018, and then it will travel to the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York City, Summer 2018; The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, Fall 2018; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, Spring 2019; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, Summer 2019.

Conceptual Mappings focuses on works that represent an active effort to map intentional connectivities. Artists in this section plot regional and insular constellations that encompass both fractures and links.

Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Juana Valdes, Ewan Atkinson, Nyugen Smith, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Tania Bruguera, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Ibrahim Miranda, Engel Leonardo, Charles Campbell, Firelei Báez, Scherezade Garcia, Adler Guerrier, María Elena González, Samir Bernárdez, María Martínez-Cañas y Kim Brown, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Limber Vilorio, Lisa C Soto, Glenda León

Perpetual Horizons presents the particularity of the insular perspective, with the horizon emerging repeatedly as a limit and as a threshold of possibilities.

Janine Antoni, Tony Cruz, Carlos Martiel, Yoan Capote, Roberto Stephenson, Fermín Ceballos, Humberto Díaz, Quisqueya Henríquez, Jorge Luis Bradshaw, Marianela Orozco, Jason Mena, Laura Castro, Fausto Ortiz, Nadia Huggins, Manuel Piña, Jeanette Ehlers, Andil Gosine, René Emil Bergsma, Jean-Luc de Laguarigue

Landscape Ecologies considers the Caribbean as a region of shared ecosystems and habitats.

Angel Otero, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Deborah Jack, Sofia Maldonado, Blue Curry, David Gumbs, Natusha Croes, Christopher Cozier, Nicole Awai, Allora & Calzadilla, Tony Capellán, Frances Gallardo, Glenda Salazar Leyva, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Ricardo de Armas, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Lynn Parotti, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, Guerra de la Paz, Marc Latamie, Joiri Minaya

Representational Acts foregrounds representation as an active process rather than a passive translation of the visible world. As opposed to the mimetic function associated with representation in traditional art history, the artists who comprise this section regard representation in a political sense.


Ebony G. Patterson, Miguel Luciano, Kishan Munroe, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Jorge Pineda, Ernest Breleur, Camille Chedda, Sasha Huber, Edgar Endress, David Bade, Charo Oquet, Antonia Wright, Cosmo Whyte, Elia Alba, Sandra Stephens and David Sansone, Barbara Prezeau-Stephenson, Myrlande Constant, Raquel Paiewonsky, Jimmy Robert, Maksaens Denis, Didier William, Marlon Griffith


Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago

This exhibition catalog, edited by exhibition curator Tatiana Flores and Caribbeanist scholar Michelle A. Stephens, is a major scholarly monograph which includes eight commissioned essays on the topic of contemporary art and thought of the Caribbean islands.

Distributed by Duke University Press

352 pages, 200 color plates, edition of 2,500

Part I: Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago

Director’s Foreword

Relational Undercurrents: Towards an Archipelagic Model of Insular Caribbean Art

Tatiana Flores and Michelle A. Stephens

Inscribing into Consciousness: The Work of Caribbean Art

Tatiana Flores

Catalogue images


Part II: The Caribbean Islands and their Diasporas

Actes de Transformation:Mixing and Mapping of Haitian Aesthetics

Jerry Philogene

Among the Islands: Dominican Art at Home and Abroad

Rocío Aranda-Alvarado

A Local History in the Global Narrative: Notes on Cuban Art between Two Centuries

Antonio Eligio (Tonel)

Aglutinación: The Collective Spirit of Puerto Rican Art

Laura Roulet 


Part III: The Archipelagic Caribbean

On Metaphysical Catastrophe, Post-Continental Thought, and the Decolonial Turn

Nelson Maldonado-Torres

There are no islands without the sea

Being a compendium of facts, fictions, names, etymologies, lyrics, and questions, in the form of a broken-up archipelago

Nicholas Laughlin

Arc’d Relations: Archive and Archipelago in the Greater Caribbean

Michelle A. Stephens


Part IV: Checklist and Biographies

Exhibition Checklist

Artist Biographies

Kaitlyn Argila, Diego Atehortúa, and Kaitlin Booher

Contributor biographies


Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, with additional support provided through the Pacific Standard Time Leadership Council, a group of art supporters from across the region. A complete list of exhibitions, with descriptions and images, is available at

In our next posting, we will look at ICA LA (Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), Martin Ramírez: His Life in Pictures, Another Interpretation.