Opening Reception
Unpacking Hispañola:
Scherezade Garcia and Firelei Báez

Friday, February 12, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
2721 N. 5th St.

Unpacking Hispañola re-envisions the processes that construct historical narratives, racial subjectivity, and gender roles through the work of Dominican American visual artists Scherezade Garcia and Firelei Báez. Both artists create images that complicate the traditional distinctions between myths and historical ‘facts’, questioning the very nature of historical narratives. Channeling their own racialized experiences in the United States, the artists explore both Dominican and U.S. African-derived culture and history, and challenge constructed racial hierarchies and inequalities in both countries.

The exhibition is divided into two sections; the first, Deconstructing History, presents the artists’ re-interpretation of Dominican Blackness and its construction at different moments of the country’s national history. In the second section, entitled Myth in the Making, the artists examine the construction of Dominican identity through religious and folkloric imagery. In Unpacking Hispañola, history and myth overlap, suggesting that both ideas are indeed constructed according to national socio-political agendas.