Puerto Rican artist Lionel Cruet exhibits at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Last August, the group exhibition Borderwaters, curated by Elizabeth S. Hawley, opened at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center, which examines and rethinks the idea of ​​the “American border” through the work of 13 contemporary artists.

The exhibition analyzes the notion of “American border,” which usually refers to the geopolitical land limits of the continental United States of America, normally linked to Canada and, more frequently, to the border of the United Mexican States. The artists in this exhibition question these continental connotations, reconceptualizing the limits of the United States as boundary waters. Their projects emphasize the coasts of the United States and its island regions; the historical and current importance of its rivers and their inextricable link with colonialist and imperialist policies; and the ecological inseparability of its rivers, which cause changes in the border waters of an area to have global effects.

The works from the series “Flood Aftermath and Other Hurricane Stories” (2015-2020) by the Puerto Rican artist Lionel Cruet They underline the archipelagic aspect of American border waters, from their native island Puerto Rico, which the United States claims as property and at the same time as an unincorporated territory.

For the artist, this series adds layers of meaning, as the context in which the series emerges, prior to the great disaster caused by Hurricane Maria, refers to the moving stories of loss during natural disasters and raises questions about the future of the climate. and how we can imagine and inhabit resilience.

“I started the series Floods Aftermath and Other Hurricane Stories in 2015, with four paintings on blue canvases and at the moment there are eight pieces. “This proposal is a new chapter in my work, where I portray the resilient landscape while reflecting on the effects of the disaster and how we relate to and think about the future,” said Cruet.

Borderwaters is part of Alabama Contemporary’s Guest Curator Program, funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation on the Visual Arts and the Alabama State Arts Council. The artists participating in the group exhibition are Marcella Ernes, Hana Yoshihata, Lionel Cruet, Sabrina Chou, Aviva Rahmani, Alejandro Duran, Allison Grant, Erin LeAnn Mitchell, Nicole Antebi, Celina Galicia, Ingrid Levya, Sonia Desai Rayka and Emma Robbins.

Borderwaters opened on August 11 and will remain open until November 26, 2023. Admission is by donation. For more information about ACAC programs and exhibitions, visit alabamacontemporary.org.

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