The Blanton Museum of Art is currently exhibiting Joiri Minaya’s Labadee, a video exhibition that explores the social and economic dynamics that occur in Labadee, Haiti and how they are deeply tied into Haiti’s tourism industry. The exhibition is open to the public through December 8, 2019.
The seven minute exhibition video tackles the complicated issues of race and privilege that are currently happening in the tourist industry in the Caribbean. Labadee’s private beach has been leased to Royal Caribbean cruise lines until 2050, and is the centerpiece of this film.
Minaya’s footage offers an intentional contrast of experiences. The film juxtaposes scenes of pristine beauty with the wall in Labadee constructed to separate tourists from the locals. The only Haitians permitted on the beach are vendors, performers and those employed by the resort. Minaya uses a parallel comparison of Christopher Columbus’s invasion of the Caribbean. Columbus’s diary passages as subtitles for the film, connecting the past to the present reality of the Caribbean tourism industry.
About Artist Joiri Minaya
Joiri Minaya is a New York City based Dominican-American artist. Her work frequently represents issues related to the travel industry. She works with digital media, photography, film, performance, sculpture, textiles and painting.
Minaya’s work has been viewed internationally across the Caribbean and the U.S. She has received a grants from the Nancy Graves Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (Emerging Artist Grant), the Joan Mitchell Foundation (Emerging Artist and Painters and Sculptors Grants), the Great prize and the Audience Award XXV Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes, the Exhibition Prize Centro de la Imagen (D.R.), and the Great Prize of the XXVII Biennial at the Museo de Arte Moderno (D.R).