When Taller Puetrorriqueňo dismantles its current featured exhibit, which is a gallery of art pieces by Esperanza Cortes, the culture organization will launch what it is calling the Claiming Places Laboratory or “CP Lab.”
The CP Lab project will bring together Urban Planner and Architectural Researcher Ariel Vazquez and artist Mabel Negrete of the Counter Narrative Society to conduct an artistic and architectural investigation of the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Taller, located on North Fifth Street near Lehigh Avenue..
“The two come from different backgrounds,” Taller’s Visual Art Program Manager Rafael Damast said. “What we’re hoping is that the two perspectives come together and uncover useful insights.”
Negrete is very interested in the prison complex and trying to understand the true beginnings and cyclical nature of crime, Damast said, while Vazquez’s idea for his work centers more on architecture and how it, from street to block, can serve to shape the identity of a particular neighborhood.
“The real question we’re trying to answer is how to better the neighborhoods we’re researching,” Vazquez said. “We hope to publish all our findings by the end of our four months of research.”
The Laboratory will be opening at 10:00 am on March 30, although the reception for its opening isn’t until April 19. The Esperanza Cortes exhibition will also be holding its closing reception at 2 p.m. the same day as the event for the laboratory.
“We’re hoping for community involvement,” Damast said. “It’s critical for the success of the project.”
CP Lab will be up and running through out the month of April and May at Taller’s Bookshop, Gallery and Administration Offices at 2721 North Fifth St.
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