The Free Registry commemorates the legacy of the African Diaspora and serves as a counterpoint to the 1852 Slave Registry of the Village of Ponce, a perfunctory list of owners and their “properties” with descriptions that painfully reveal the inhumanity of slavery. Visitors, regardless of their bloodline, are invited to connect with our shared history. TO COMMENT, JUST CLICK ON ANY OF THE POST TITLES

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


While the substance of this work is moving, I would like to explore this exhibit more formalistically.  The juxtaposition of the old and the new, the historical with the present and future, old media and new media.  When does a repurposed text, a registry, become art?  When does a web site or blog become art?  Or do they?  Diogenes Ballester's work brings several disparate elements (found objects from Spanish Harlem, an old slave registry from Ponce, his paintings, his web site and blog) together into a new totality or whole from which meaning or meanings are generated -- residing partially in the exhibition as a sum of its parts and also in the visitor.  There is a clash and a synthesis.  The clash is where the truth lies, I think, artistically and philosophically.