Where the Oceans Meet
We often imagine that globalization and technology bring us closer and make us more connected, yet borders increasingly divide us. Where the Oceans Meet engages two key figures who devoted their work to thinking through borders, both physical and ideological: the Cuban painter, scholar, and ethnographer Lydia Cabrera (1899–1991) and the Martinican philosopher, poet, and literary critic Édouard Glissant (1928–2011).
The modern and contemporary art in the exhibition resonates with the pioneering thought of Cabrera and Glissant. Where the Oceans Meet comprises an international group of artists and collectives that consider notions of shifting and porous borders—and how crossing borders has shaped our world. They articulate various aspects of the two scholars’ thoughts on race, diaspora, colonialization, creolization, language, and territory, particularly with regards to Miami’s position in a world that never stops turning.
Although coming from different places and parts of the world, the artists in this exhibition share this foundational space that simultaneously separates and connects them. Echoing the literary, anthropological, and philosophical work of Cabrera and Glissant, their art interrogates how borders shape identities and negotiate imaginary spaces. Their inquiries resonate across mediums and genres, and attempt to answer urgent questions that concern us all today. In addition to a selection of archival materials related to Cabrera and Glissant, Where the Oceans Meet includes works by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa, Etel Adnan, Carlos Alfonzo, Kader Attia, Belkis Ayón, Yto Barrada, Daniel Boyd, Tania Bruguera, Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste, Agustín Cárdenas, Maya Deren, Manthia Diawara, Melvin Edwards, Juan Francisco Elso, Öyvind Fahlström, Simone Fattal, Theaster Gates, Andrea Geyer, Sylvie Glissant, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Koo Jeong A, Wifredo Lam, Glenn Ligon, Lani Maestro, Roberto Matta, Julie Mehretu, Ana Mendieta, The Otolith Group, Amelia Pelaez, André Pierre, Walid Raad, Raqs Media Collective, Anri Sala, Antonio Seguí, Elena Tejada-Herrera, Pierre Verger, Jack Whitten, and Andros Zins-Browne.
The exhibition is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Asad Raza, Gabriela Rangel, and Rina Carvajal. It is made possible by generous support from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.