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Caribbean: Crossroads of the World


June 12, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013

Daily (11am–6pm)



El Museo del Barrio (Venue Partner)

1230 Fifth Ave.


Directions: #6 train to 103rd Street, or #2 or #3 train to 110th Street


$6 suggested donation


El Museo del Barrio says…

Caribbean: Crossroads of the World will examine the visual arts and aesthetic development across the Caribbean, considering the histories of the Spanish, French, Dutch and English islands and their Diasporas. An international advisory group of scholars and artists have been working with all three institutions to plan and present scholarly discussions, public programming, events, educational components, the multi-venue exhibition itself, and a major resource publication due to be published in Spring 2012. A Caribbean curriculum initiative for public school youth, including online resource materials, teacher workshops, and New York City area school partnerships is also in the works.

This exhibition is both ambitious and groundbreaking, highlighting rarely-seen works in thematic sections ranging from the Haitian Revolution to the present. Each of the three venues will explore distinct themes, as follows:

El Museo del Barrio Counterpoints reflects on Caribbean plantation systems and industries such as sugar, fruit, tobacco and coffee which had tremendous aesthetic and social impact while proving to be a source of wealth and conflict.   Patriot Acts studies the idea that artists and intellectuals in the Caribbean were instrumental in the creation of the identity, both visual and conceptual, of the young Caribbean nations, which often pitted traditional, academic aesthetics against the “authentic,” indigenous and African past of the region.   Queens Museum of Art Fluid Motions examines the complexities of the geographical and geopolitical realities of a region made up of islands and coastal areas, connected and separated by bodies of water.   Kingdoms of this World considers the amazing variety of languages, cultures and religions that co-exist in the Caribbean, and their role in the development of popular traditions such as syncretic religions, newly created language, and the carnival.      Studio Museum in Harlem Shades of History explores the significance of race and its relevance to the history and culture of the Caribbean, beginning with the pivotal moment of the Haitian Revolution in 1804.  Race is analyzed as a trigger for discussions on human rights, social status and beauty.   Land of the Outlaw addresses the dual images of the Caribbean as a utopic place of pleasure and a land of deviance and illicit activity. Here artists debunk widespread myths and stereotypes, such as those of pirates, zombies and drug smugglers.