Latino Arts Afire

Those who think a Latin is a Latin is a Latin and are still barking, “Yo quiero Taco Bell,” are rubbing up against the wrong fire hydrant. For folks uninitiated into the finer points of the melting cazuela that is Latino culture, Centro Cultural Español opens “Constant Disturbance: On Cultural Contamination and Foreign Agents.” Beginning tonight, the show features nineteen Latin American artists and their schizzy range of media.

Curated by Gean Moreno, the exhibit explores the loopy dynamics through which cultures expand, hybridize, and level off. The show pits work identified as part of the legacy of Latin American cultural production against work created here by those of Latin American descent outside of these traditions. “The underlying idea of the show is how there isn’t a clear cut issue of Latin identity, and you can almost take genetic DNA as a governing metaphor for the show where foreign elements are introduced and lead to the disturbance and adaptation of the gene pool,” Moreno explains.

The exhibit seeks to explore how objects that represent the two groups of artists -- produced under disparate sociocultural conditions -- relate to each other, and if a harmonic convergence of influences will result from the effort.

The visiting team counts Miguel Calderon, José Antonio Diez, Dario Escobar, and Yoshua Okon among its players, while the home squad boasts Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Diego Singh, and Beatriz Monteavaro. Bridging the gap are assume vivid astro focus (a.k.a. Eli Sudbrack), William Cordova, and Los Super Elegantes, batting ambiguously.

Expect to run into psychedelic wallpaper, vampires, satanic possessions, skateboards, and break dancers reflecting encouraging signs that the good old USA is still the primary purveyor of cultural homogenization on both sides of the border.
Fri., March 24, 8 p.m.


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