Harvard University’s Art Wing (on view Winter 2023)

“In N[eg]ation writer, cultural critic, and visual artist Alan Pelaez Lopez symbolically and discursive interrupts the violent process of nation-making through a series of objects that call attention to silenced histories and gesture towards alternative futures where Indigenous, Black, and Asian Latinxs live safely. Enlarged reproductions of a series of ‘memes’ initially circulated online via Instagram and Twitter invite viewers to engage a transmediated practice of critique. Taking negation as a method, these large tapestries reconnect the artist’s digital practice to its material urgency. Here, ‘Latinidad is Cancelled’ becomes more than a provocation, it is an assertion shored up by the aesthetics of state-craft that are perverted by the artist’s labor in hand-painting the white pigment onto red cotton. The interactive graveyard installation invites viewers to memorialize their demands and anxieties for a post-Latinidad future alongside the tombs of genocidal atrocities that have been erased from popular histories of Latin America.”

– Ra Malika Imhotep, Ph.D.

“This future, the one Alán is demanding that we speculate on and manifest, is a future where the nation is a buried relic, where networks of solidarity and care and joy are our animating structures, where there are Black people and no borders and Black people and no police an Black people and no prisons. I think it’s hardly coincidental that we turn to the realm of the artistic and literary to bring these remains into being. It’s through acts of writing—when Indigenous peoples make settlers sign papers, for example—and acts of imagination—when the land is not just under our feet but in our hearts and heads and eyes—that this future comes to be. What is unimaginable today, through the maneuvers of the speculative, the fictitious, the creational, become not just imaginable tomorrow, but tomorrow itself…

We know that we will continue to live with and in the wake of Latinidad. But may tonight mark a collective commitment to making its halflives and future iterations synonymous with the demands you see laid out before you. May its every utterance be a call to negate the nation, and create worlds between and beyond.”

– Thomas Conners, Ph.D., “A Eulogy for Latinidad” (Opening night remark)

“While transing as method could be applied to any movement of any body between contexts across the globe, the symbolic similarities with the trans experience and the Latin American context are not random. They are the result of the nature of removing a body from its origin to a context with seemingly greater opportunity, while existing in white supremacist cultures and frameworks. By homogenizing Latinidad and the gender binary that exists in the Latin American and U. S. context, we are erasing the former body—the… Black, Indigenous, Trans, Feminine—as well as the transition itself, culminating into the reductionary state of Latinidad or the reduction to a single and permanent gender identity. Identities are not static: the chronology of transness fixes bodies only in a challenge to the white-supremacist state. We then are offered the opportunity to examine challenges to linear temporality and excision of past identity through the lens of transness. Latinidad must be canceled, as Alan Pelaez Lopez called for in 2018, referencing the four wounds that scar and heal, but do not erase as white supremacy assumes they would. Thus, transing is an appropriate method by which to begin to capture the nuance of the immigrant experience, especially when one has not experienced it firsthand, because we return autonomy and process to a de-emphasized body and question the status of identities and boxes ascribed to them.”

-Kris King, “The Ongoing Body: Transing The Cancellation of Latinidad”(Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America, 2023)

“In order to understand the ways in which Latinidad has disavowed Blackness and erased indigeneity, we must look beyond the canon to the anti-canonical, or to a still-emerging set of art objects and practices intent on contesting limited notions of ethno-racial Latinx belonging. As a result, the analytical capability of identifying these socio-cultural lacunae requires the development of creational capabilities too, ones where students turn to artistic modes of production to counteract these exclusionary dominant historical-cultural narratives through novel praxes, ways of undoing, doing, and redoing and (re)acting.

-Thomas Conners, “Queer Lessons on Latinx Methods” (Revista: Harvard Review of Latin America, 2023)

To bring N[EG]ATION to your school, gallery, museum, library, or other adaptable space, please contact Alan.