In its apparent continuing effort to be as un-Manhattan as possible, the Brooklyn Museum has been cooking up shows that the fashion-obsessed art establishment is guaranteed to find uncool. Hip-hop, “Star Wars,” feminism. What could be next? “Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art” is next.
Multiculturalist terms like identity, hybridity and diversity may sound like words from a dead language in Chelsea, but they are the lingua franca of the Brooklyn show. Once-hyped forms like installation art and the neo-conceptual object may be disdained by Manhattan tastemakers, but they are embraced here....
One of the show’s stated purposes is to ask whether there is, in fact, a cultural entity — or a type of contemporary art — that can be securely identified as Caribbean. And it arrives at its answer — no — through a display of sheer multiplicity. There may be fundamental links between the diaristic drawings of the Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier; the platinum-plated plantains of the Puerto Rican Miguel Luciano; the self-portrait in lederhosen of the Haitian artist Jean-Ulrick Désert; the participatory installation by the conceptual artist Satch Hoyt; and a sad, suspenseful video piece by the young Cuban artist Alex Hernández Dueñas. But if so, they are not mapped here.
-- From Holland Cotter's review of Infinite Island in the New York Times. In the New York Sun, Lance Esplund says:
The show, comprising videos, installations, paintings, sculptures, photography, and interactive works, emphasizes the West Indies' cross-cultural nature, and is colorful, musical, and multifarious, but it is also serious-minded and politically charged. The exhibit acts primarily as a provocative platform for social causes, which ultimately may tell us more about the contemporary issues embraced by the art world than about the rich diversity of the Caribbean.
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Thursday, 30 August 2007