Ron Abram’s El Ambiente(The Environment) is an interdisciplinary show of printmaking, animation, and sculpture that brings into conversation folklore, family history, and popular culture. Abram’s first exhibition at Taller Puertorriqueño, El Ambiente features new work based on the artist’s research into his great grandparents’ migration from Europe to Puerto Rico at the turn of the century. For him, the exhibition is an investigation of not only family history but of the queer sites of his forefathers that were masked in stories and legends.
Abram was inspired by the work of scholar Andrés Torres and his concept of el ambiente, a heterogeneous space that is not exclusively gay or straight, a space“where both gay and straight spaces cross.” The artist evokes this heterogeneity in a mixture of materials including prints and puppets, video and sound. The exhibition consists of a series of multi-media“peep holes” that reveal the queer, magical, and mysterious space of el ambiente, where queer and straight spaces meet.
Exploring real sites/locations as points of personal and collective meaning, Abram is an artist and curator who works with metaphor and symbolism. He is a master printmaker and Associate Professor of Art and Queer Studies at Denison University, where he has taught since 1995.
Queer Prism: Casting a Light on Latinidad, Intersectionality, & Place
Saturday, December 2 at 1 PM
Moderated by Larry La Fontaine,“Queer Prism” builds on the themes of Abram’s exhibition. The panel investigates Latino and Queer identities, and the stories created around places that bring people together. Looking at Puerto Rico’s queer spaces(el ambiente) and how they have become more visible in society, the panel will explore the transformation of Latino identity in light of growing acceptance of queer identity. Participants include Ron Abram, David Acosta, Gerard Silva, and Nikki Lopez.