FSU Art Professor Lilian Garcia-Roig has a work featured in the 2020 Florida Biennial exhibition: “Now is the time/ the time is Now” at the Art & Culture Center/Hollywood. The show runs from November 6- February 21, 2021.
This year’s guest curator was Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon, and in her show essay she states:
2020 is a year full of signs. Chock-full of unprecedented moments in history, somehow this year has been set apart, and certainly for good reason. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, in the midst of a civil rights crisis and a global pandemic, we have seen people rise and make their voices heard in many different ways. With modes of expression and information rushing at us from all directions it can be hard to step back and reflect on the myriads of signs, voices, narratives, and make sense of it all. The 2020 Florida Biennial exhibition provides a space for contemplation, packed with meaningful information and reflections about the signs of our times. Through a plethora of mediums – from site-responsive installations, video, painting, sculpture, photography, to conceptual art – the 32 artists in the exhibition address themes that are often directly, or sometimes more loosely connected to this unusual year and current events, as well as general themes that define the recent developments and significant changes of our era.
Through reflections mostly inspired by their lived experience many artists are focusing on racial identity and interpretations of Blackness, Queer identity, masculinity and femininity, and interpersonal relationships. Informed by heritage and personal memories, and delivered in poignant and powerful narratives, the works explore social issues, culture, the history of the Black community, the family, and gender identity. Several artists also address power dynamics, by looking at the tension, struggle and fight for domination and control, social justice advocacy and the powers at play.
Another major theme in the exhibition is environmental awareness. Many artists explore our connection to the natural world, in all its complexity and its fleetingness. Several works celebrate nature’s awe-inspiring presence in Romantic representations of the landscape, by representing the wilderness of a bygone area, and conveying a call to protect and worship a vulnerable nature. Many works also allude to our society’s deep impact on the environment, its changing “nature” and its fragility; actively recording the experience and the signs of a world in decline in dystopic landscapes. Some artists also explore the landscape as a sense of place and belonging, and its role in the construction of identity in relation to the process of migration, in poetic iterations that evoke the nostalgia of leaving beloved places behind.
Many other themes are approached, such as the relationship between the discarded object and the internet; addressing the production and consumption of objects in a post-consumerist society; asemic (i.e. “wordless”) writing as spiritual healing – visual haikus as vignettes of uncertainty, raising doubts about the media and its current use of propaganda – all quenching our thirst for meaning and sense-making in 2020.
In the aftermath of a crazy year, in a bizarre world in which still some dare to dream, and some are shining even brighter despite their brokenness, the tenth Florida Biennial is a testimony to art’s transformative and healing power. NOW is the Time to chart these unprecedented moments, then, these signs of our time, indeed.
Lilian Garcia-Roig-Roig’s work in the show is titled “Hyphenated Nature: Northern Florida-Cuban Painting Relations (After Carta”) 2020.
It is a triptych consisting of two oil on canvas on-site paintings made in Florida (left & right sides) with a central acrylic and hand-made Cuban-dirt pigment on canvas image of a famous painting in the National Museum in Havana of the Cuban landscape (middle square). Total dimensions: 30″ x 78″