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MoCP Reopens With Exhibition On Puerto Rico’s Contemporary History

Written by on July 8, 2020

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With limited ticketing, mandatory face masks and social distancing guidelines, Columbia College Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography has reopened with Puerto Rican history exhibit.

Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance takes a close look at the modern history of Puerto Rico as a still unincorporated territory of the United States. With photos from more than ten artists, the exhibition explores three major events and the impact they had on the island, namely the enactment of the US federal law titled the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in 2016 to oversee the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis, the US response to Hurricane María in 2017, and the mass protests in July 2019 that forced the governor’s resignation.

The name of the exhibit, Temporal, derives from a Puerto Rican style of song named plena. Plena for years has been an Afro-Caribbean musical style meant as a visceral and easy to understand form of delivering news and vocalizing protest. In recent times, plena has been adopted by protesters’ chants, making music their own form of artistic protest. Temporal uses this idea of making art into resistance and places the documentation of unrest and the art of protest at its center.

The exhibition, which was meant to run last spring, was postponed to July 7 due to the COVID outbreak. But the themes of the exhibit are as relevant as ever, especially issues of protest, organized resistance, and amplifying marginalized voices.

The exhibit will be open to the public every weekday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. More information on museum guidelines and ticket reservations can be found on the MoCP’s website.


 

Written by Luis Mejia Ahrens