Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas is at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Wednesday-Sunday, April 7 – August 18, 2019. From $4
Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas
Mundos Alternos means alternate worlds. Unlike “alternate facts,” our alternate worlds are very real. At least they are real for us.
The experience of colonization alters your world. You can imagine the impact of initial contact with Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors in the Americas by imagining the impact of a white dude with long wavy hair, a beard, and a shiny white robe stepping out of a UFO on the White House lawn. It would alter your world.
After the Spanish and Portuguese left, the Americans came and then modernity came, so our altered world is now an altered, altered, altered world. It’s disorienting to say the least, and makes you wonder where you fit in.
Science fiction is the perfect place for alternate Latin worlds because the work is considered to be visionary imaginations of the future instead of pure craziness.
A lot of this work is surreal. Surrealism and its literary complement Magical Realism, to us are nothing more than the real magic that is present in our daily lives (every single day, mind you).
If one person loves another so deeply that the room catches fire when they have sex, well it probably really happened somewhere in the Latin world. You didn’t hear about that? You didn’t watch that telenovela I told you about? It was really good.
Looking at the work might lead you think these are one bunch of crazy people. But I know some of them and can assure you that in person, they are head in the clouds – feet on the ground types.
They will look you in the eye and tell you the darnedest stories, but it’s all a persona or show. Made you look. Gotcha. Made you think, even better.
Seriously, it’s a great show filled with Latin humor that people from all ages, races, places, universes, etcetera, etcetera and so on will enjoy. Humor is the only advanced technology that exists in the Latin world. It’s the one way that our technology is superior to yours. You people are so clever.
Welcome to our world, el Mundo “Laterno” where nothing is quite right, but together we make it all right, and everybody knows our song, ‘Despacalterno’. We made a video of the song with one of our own ugliest aliens on the New York City waterfront and now everybody wants to go there (even though it’s not safe at night for natives).
Friendly hint: make sure you and your family leave the exhibition on time because after hours we let loose all the wild imaginings that inspired the art and build the wall so you can never leave. It’s like Hotel California. Then in the middle of the night while you are waiting to get out, sitting on the floor with your sobbing kids with nothing to eat or drink, no phone calls or bathrooms, we ICE the museum. It’s all done under the authority of a presidential directive signed by El Presidente Alterno that authorizes us to separate you from yourself. Don’t thank us. We’ll thank you. This has to stop. You’ll be happy to know that I will now deport myself. Adios.
¡WEPA! Enjoy. It’s a really good show. Bienvenido a mi mundo (welcome to my world). It will make you think.
[This essay is inspired by my friend, the great Puerto Rican surrealist ADÁL. His photo of the Puerto Rican flag on the moon is the only genuine photo from the Apollo project. All the other famous pictures we know were photoshopped in a studio in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Believe you me. Now you can read about it in Forbes Magazine, so it must be real.]
PS: After being kidnapped by the aliens at this exhibition, you will never be the same again. (That’s why you need to go see it.)
For serious information, visit queensmuseum.org
Mundos Alternos Artists
The artists are from all over Latin America which now includes the United States. (Simple minds worry about those poor kids and families on the border, while we are taking over the place from the inside out. Hehehe. Gotcha again!)
We should explain that most of these artists have a birthplace or a family heritage which we note as a signal of pride. Actually most are Americans, and if not Americans of the United States, all are Americans of the Americas. In the Americas, that means most of us are also Indigenous (and African too).
In the postmodern age of the Internet and mobile phone, the national definitions we grew up with are becoming as obsolete as the border. “Mi casa es tu casa” hasn’t worked out very well for us. Your country was our country and we want it back. We are all Americanx. (Actually national heritage is part of our earth cover story. We are all really from the Andromeda galaxy. Do you have any idea how long it takes to walk from there? Better call the Men in Black. Their HQ is here in New York.)
- ADÁL, Puerto Rican ~ Photographic surrealist
- AZTLÁN Dance Company, Mexican-American
- Guillermo Bert, Chilean
- Erica Bohm, Argentine
- Tania Candiani, Mexican
- Beatriz Cortez, Salvadoran
- Claudio Dicochea, Mexican ~ Casta painting specialist
- Faivovich & Goldberg, Argentine
- Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Puerto Rican
- Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Mexican-American
- Hector Hernandez, Mexican
- Gyula Kosice Czech-Argentine
- La Gravedad de los Asuntos (Nahum and Ale de la Puente) with selected participants (Mexican)
- Tania Candiani, Mexican
- Juan José Díaz Infante, Mexican
- Nahum (the Biblical prophet?)
- Ale de la Puente, Mexican
- L.A. VATOCOSMICO c-s, Mexican-American
- Robert “Cyclona” Legorreta, Mexican-American
- Chico MacMurtrie / Amorphic Robot Works
- Guadalupe Maravilla, Mexican-American
- Marion Martinez, Mexican-American (Mixed Tech Media as in Mixtec, Indigenous Mexican)
- MASA—MeChicano Alliance of Space Artists (Luis Valderas and Paul Karam, with Sergio Hernández, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, Miguel Luciano, Laura Molina, Tony Ortega, and Raúl Servín)
- Jillian Mayer, Miami
- Mundo Meza, Mexican
- Glexis Novoa, Cuban
- Rubén Ortiz Torres, Mexican
- Rigo 23, Portuguese
- Alex Rivera, New Yorker
- Clarissa Tossin
- Carmelita Tropicana, Cuban-American
- Luis Valderas, Mexican
- Ricardo Valverde, Mexican-American (my homie, the photographer of East LA)
- José Luis Vargas, Puerto Rican
Our identity list is probably half wrong, but that’s close enough for the Latin world.
Mundos Alternos Tickets
NYC students (with ID): Free
Children 18 and under:Free
Tickets are available at the door.
New York City Building, Corona, NY 11368
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Wednesday-Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Subway: (7) Mets-WIllets Point
PS: Queens makes presidents who don’t think, but artists who do!