THE KEY TO THE HIGHWAY:
Episode1, part 1, a brief, riled-up soliloquy about life in Puerto Rico.
Episode 1, part 2, a close-up look at one of the island’s most personable coffee roasting operations, Café Mayor, plus Rotund’s first roundup of art shows.
Episode 2, part 1, in which we review Pedro Vélez's "Godfuck," study an art sale posing as an exhibition, and get a haircut.
Episode 2, part 2: the haircut continues, there’s a regrettable moment with fruit, and we drop by the fresh San Juan art-o-rama =DESTO for a talk with the founders.
Episode 3, part 1 covers, if not the waterfront, at least that occasional Nuyorican-Borinquen artfest “The (S) Files” at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and visits scenic Caguas to marvel at another new kid on the block, ÁREA.
Episode 3, part 2 takes a wild ride on the Tren Urbano.
Episode 4, part 1 gets the unexpected: some mail. In part 2, we hit the road for points south, with stops at the Frade Museum, El Cuñao, King’s Cream, and Museo de la Historia de Ponce.
Episode 5, part 1 weighs Puerto Rico’s travails against Miami’s prosperity and scratches its head. Why does Fred Snitzer say the things he says?
Episode 5, part 2: more art shows and the artists who make them, including the evergreen Antonio Martorell and a stealthy group called El Polverío.
Episode 6, part 1 and part 2 offer blow-by-blow coverage of Puerto Rico’s first-ever art fair, CIRCA 2006, and the whole world asks, “What’s it all about, Rotund?”
Episode 7 takes the slow train to Hato Rey and Galerías Prindari, where it meets the friendly natives.
Episode 8 knocks on the door of the Berezdivin collection, hoping to get in, and then muses disapprovingly about el Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.
Episode 9, part 1 wallows in the paradoxes of summer in Puerto Rico, including a curious exhibition at la Escuela de Artes Plásticas, while part 2 looks at the work of painter-writer Javier Martínez.
Episode 10: the excellent exhibition space tagRom has a birthday and the laggardly Rotund crew tries to catch up on San Juan art doings, while Tiny Type travels southward to watch Rafael Trelles do his thing at el Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Episode 11: “Two Cards from the Bottom of the Deck?” This could only mean Pedro Vélez.
Episode 12 invites all and sundry to get down with La Muestra Nacional de Arte. Plus, =Desto hits its stride and doesn’t look back.
Episode 13: is La Muestra Nacional the only thing on the Rotund mind? What about sex? Rapacious legislators? What happened to lechón, pasteles, and Heineken tall boys?
Episode 14 brings us yet more Muestra, but also, what? Yes, Pedro Vélez, now in his new role as Rotund art dick. Plus, new shows at San Juan’s La Liga de Arte and Crema Gallery.
Episode 15 proves that the island is cooking: The International Book Fair, experimental prints at =Desto, Milton Rosa-Ortiz at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. The Basquiat drawing show is not terrible, but what is a private collection doing at MAPR?
Episode 16: the government is pilloried, artists are praised, food is mentioned, jokes are cracked that no one gets.
Episode 17 visits Art Basels past. This may strike some readers as cheap and retrograde, but we think the vintage years never get old. Besides, we also look at a Julie Kahn trading-card project, and what could be groovier than that?
Episode 18 looks like a preview, reads like a preview, and even smells a bit like a preview. But is it really a preview?
Episode 19: Barcelona. Need we say more?
Episode 20 visits the Corozal redoubt of Titi Noris, then gets down and gets funky with Julio Micheli.
Episode 21 tramps through the dirty snow of New York City and sees a bunch of fur coats posing as art.
Episode 22: the good, the bad, and the dubious underbelly of the Puerto Rican art world: shows and those who write about them.
Episode 23 takes a break from the box step and does the boogaloo instead: some advice about going public.
Episode 24 is an extensive chat about a wide-ranging show, The DAMS 2. Who exactly are Dildo and Culo?
Episode 25 marks the beginning of the end. At least the end of the long wait for CIRCA 2007.
Episode 26: enough CIRCA to please the gluttonous and outrage the discreet.
Not to be missed, of course: Booty Bundt, the cake that says it all, and BUY THIS NOW! an exclusive offer to be a part of this toney enterprize.
Follow the links to the Miami and Puerto Rican art worlds, and to perspectives bigger than both.
The Next Few Hours
Miami Art Central
Centro Cultural Español
Brook Dorsch Gallery
Kevin Bruk Gallery
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Leonard Tachmes Gallery
Diaspora Vibe Gallery
Miami Art Exchange
The Moore Space
Museo de la Historia de Ponce
Museo Pío López Martínez
(The Frade Museum)
Museo de Arte de Ponce
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Museo de la UPR
Los Balcones de San Juan
La Casa del Arte
Programa de Artes Plástics del ICP
CIRCA Puerto Rico
M de Mater O’Neill Audio Archive
Art Nexus Magazine
Tom Moody's Weblog
Edward Winkleman’s Blog
Rotund World covers Miami, la Isla, and the world.
The magazine is designed and written by Joel Weinstein. It is a periodic compendium of smirking opinion, and is not be be taken seriously. Be warned.
Photos, unless otherwise credited, are by none other than J Weinstein.
You can contact Rotund World at this address or, if you prefer, our other one.
One Thing Before We Go
And ever so briefly: it’s a pretty little number called Publica, the latest in avant gardery from everyone’s favorite trio más criollo, =Desto. This outing, the fab few invited Kristine Serviá to organize an exhibition of publications, largely on the handmade, collaborative, and experimental side. It’s an exhibition that arrives at Calle Américo Salas with a certain inevitability given the island’s impressive graphics tradition and, if you’ll forgive us for saying so for the umpteenth time, its explosive present moment.
Cast your eyes on the jolly opening night crowd. Yes, we agree that momentariness is arguably one of the present scene’s best qualities—“the scene” including such memorable hoots as Agora in Caguas, the art circus at Rumba, the DAMS 2, and whatever else we slept through and wish we hadn’t. But whenever we hear it said that “this stuff won’t last,” we’re increasingly of a mind that that’s the leading fogey piety which not only misses the point of the fun, hyped-up, connected time had by all, but is a much too easy analysis of what’s on hand. In fact, it’s not analysis at all. Visit =Desto before Publica bites the dust, and you’ll see that there is an amazing shitload of work nicely packed into the tiny space. We’re betting you’ll want to dwell over more than one or two projects.
Some cases in point: first above, with scissors and diagrams: Rosemarie Perea’s Cootie Catcher. Next down: Nora Maité Nieves’s art-in-a-plastic-bag, Ai Was Here. Next: the collaborative prints-in-a-box project, La Polilla, involving various artists from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas and spearheaded by Raquel Quijano. Below that: Caja de Voces, poems in a box by Yarisa Colón and Waleska Rivera. Next, to the left: jolly postcards of torture, death, and Puerto Rican journalists being attacked by the FBI, Don’t Be Afraid, Linda, by Teresa López. On the right: a wallful of things from Galería Comercial. Last: an “intervención en papel y estampas” by Odalys Gómez. What we don’t show you are the raggedy fanzines, the t-shirts, the posters, and the indescribable other stuff.
There are many noteworthy aspects to Publica, including all the cool ephemera you can carry away with you—posters, postcards, fragrant pieces of wood—plus a loose-leaf catalogue in an envelope. But one of the best parts of the exhibition for us was the chance to sit down with Kristine Serviá and listen to her talk about the show and its aftermath. We are not going to reproduce that conversation for you here because we must, alas, conserve our energies for the arduous biennializing that lies ahead. Suffice it to say for now that Serviá—who herself publishes a handsome magazine of artist’s projects, Aguja—had a very good idea about how to survey the Puerto Rican independent publishing world, embracing everything from creative journalism to experimental poetry and music fandom. She is what you might call pleasantly overwhelmed by the response to the exhibition, and the buzz of connection that it created. If we were wearing a hat we would take it off, but you can do that for us by visiting =Desto soon: 1400 Américo Salas in Santurce. Call 787-633-3381 for hours and the usual information.
Haven’t had enough CIRCA 2007? Go here.