Art have a long and influential global history, and certainly Puerto Rico is not the exception to this ever growing monster. On the past presentation of Becas Lexus at MAPR, a program that seeks to promote an art that is not only representational but have something conflictive, constructive or being said, something that add some relevance to contemporary culture, was not at all different from it past events. This time the artist who get the longed piece of cake was Myritza Castillo. She is one of the new rising stars in contemporary art in Puerto Rico and certainly by winning this grant, it is obvious that her career may have a turn up. A recent graduate from Universidad Complutence in Spain, her photography and video based work is at least for us something we tend to see in many exhibits in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The reason for this may be because of its quality, cleanness and subjective discourses toward modern issues.
The project this young artist presented at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR) was called Out of Oil in direct reference to the inability to search new ways to sustain our modern way of life. It was a somewhat analytic metaphor of how we as consumers are totally dependent to non-renewable sources of energy and how we as producers and because of socio-political implications may be hand tied when dealing with self sufficient alternatives. She try to convey a long discussed issue that in someways may turn her dialog into a repetitive and almost futile intention. Mostly because her proposal fails to deal effectively toward the search of a plausible solution. Too much has been written on energy and still we have a blank paper. So, when an artist choose to comment on a model for sustainable living it is often the case that the proposal lacks the sufficiently amount of details to respond to the many questions the observer may have upon seeing the artwork.
I am not saying the artwork in this case fails to deliver a full scale experience, on the contrary. When I was referring to it I was talking in terms her socio-political approach. This is without a doubt a very hard discourse to reach as this is a phenomenon that brings with it boundary and geopolitical issues no more ignored in the modern society.
This was surely one of the most beautifully new media projects I had ever had experienced in any museums in Puerto Rico. Everything from the construction to the display were intelligently placed. The sound added the required atmosphere that most installations need but never had and the project was big enough to make the observer feel kind of awkward, uncomfortable or excited in the presence of it. Considering this I may say that this was a great project to see, although I would have love for it to have some kind of movement on the lights.
Besides that… Great Job Myritza!!!