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«Novenario» at MAC Puerto Rico

Until March 13, 2022.

Novenario marks the mode in which artists imagine the transformation from a state of pain and loss to a state of potential; where anger, pain, and beauty insist on co-existing. This exhibition proposes to highlight the labor of mourning that is painted, drawn, photographed, weaved, sculpted, danced, sang, and written, stemming from devastating events of the 20th and 21st centuries. These events have accumulated in the artistic archive, without necessarily having made an entry into the local history of art, as fragments of perhaps the most transformative events in our brief lives.

The artwork selected commemorates imaginary novenaries; nine night ceremonies to name the work of mourning. It marks the nine months of gestation of new lives, the nine days and nights in which different spiritual communities gather in Puerto Rico to say rosaries, play drums or to wait for the passing of the spirit. It is the mystical number nine of life cycles and the re-signified territories of mourning in the work of several contemporary artists from Puerto Rico of different generations and practices. However, mourning here does not account for a historiographical retelling of tragedy; rather, it proposes a shared artistic sentiment that wishes to be mediated by the gaze and the memory of its spectators today: survivors of Hurricane Maria (2017), earthquakes (2020) and the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-present). Certainly, the exhibition also wants to dialogue and mourn with those who don’t know this history, in hopes that the work shown here provides a sense of how pain is transformed into other realities, materialities, and dreams.

Participating Artists: Gabriella Báez, Rogelio Báez, Carola Cintrón Moscoso, Nayda Collazo Llorens, Humberto Figueroa, Frances Gallardo, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Teresa Hernández, Vanessa Hernández Gracia, Ivelisse Jiménez, Karen Langevin, Daniel Lind Ramos, Lizette Lugo, Jotham Malavé, Antonio Martorell, Elsa María Meléndez, María de Mater O’Neill, Marisol Plard Narváez, Gabi Pérez Silver, Marta Pérez, Dhara Rivera, Ivette Román, Carlos Raquel Rivera, Rafael Rivera Rosa, Rosaura Rodríguez, Gisela Rosario Ramos, Nelson Sambolín, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Merián Soto, Raquel Torres Arzola, Rafael Trelles, Yolanda Velázquez 


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