Mundos Alternos:
Art and Science Fiction in the Americas

Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas brings together contemporary artists from across the Americas who have tapped into science fiction’s capacity to imagine new realities, both utopian and dystopian. Science fiction offers a unique artistic landscape in which to explore the colonial enterprise that shaped the Americas and to present alternative perspectives speculating on the past and the future. In the works featured in the exhibition, most created in the last two decades, artists employ the imagery of science fiction to suggest diverse modes of existence and represent “alienating” ways of being in the world. The exhibition offers a groundbreaking account of the intersections among science fiction, techno-culture, and the visual arts.

Mundos Alternos brings together the work of international artists from across Latin America with Latinx artists from throughout the United States: ADÁL, AZTLÁN Dance Company, Guillermo Bert, Erica Bohm, Tania Candiani, Beatriz Cortez, Claudio Dicochea, Faivovich & Goldberg, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Hector Hernandez, Gyula Kosice, LA VATOCOSMICO c-s, Robert “Cyclona” Legorreta, Chico MacMurtrie / Amorphic Robot Works, Marion Martinez, MASA—MeChicano Alliance of Space Artists (Luis Valderas and Paul Karam, with Sergio Hernández, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, Miguel Luciano, Laura Molina, Tony Ortega, and Raúl Servín), Jillian Mayer, Mundo Meza, Guadalupe Maravilla, Glexis Novoa, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Rigo 23, Alex Rivera, Clarissa Tossin, Carmelita Tropicana, Luis Valderas, Ricardo Valverde, and José Luis Vargas.

Representing a region that is home to vast immigrant populations from Latin America and a vibrant art scene sustained by Latinx artists locally and internationally, the Queens Museum presents the East Coast reiteration of the exhibition. This exhibition and programming will reflect on New York’s cultural and geopolitical ties to the Caribbean and South and Central Americas.

The exhibition is organized into thematic “constellations” including Cornerstones, Time Travel, Alternate Americas, Indigenous Futurisms, Reimagining the Americas, and Alien Skins. For this iteration, Mundos Alternos dynamically expands its interface with satellite installations and programs at partner institutions throughout New York City: The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will exhibit the section Alien Skins; the Museum of the Moving Image will present a film screening series and lectures organized by Mexico City-based guest scholar, Itala Schmelz; and Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, Harlem will organize a series of special programming for family audiences.

A series of performances, talks, readings, and workshops will be presented to examine the far-reaching influence of science and speculative fiction in the Americas and beyond. Programming will center on contributions from artists, writers, poets, and musicians that engage “futurisms” from a wide range of perspectives covering geo-political, social, environmental, and personal themes.

Mundos Alternos is organized by UCR ARTS at the University of California, Riverside, and curated by Robb Hernández, Assistant Professor of English at UCR; Tyler Stallings, Director of the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College, and former Artistic Director of the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts at UCR ARTS; and Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Senior Curator at the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTS. The traveling iteration is organized by Hitomi Iwasaki, Director of Exhibitions and Curator at the Queens Museum and Joanna Szupinska-Myers.

Images in order of appearance: Beatriz Cortez, The Cosmos (Spaceship), 2015. Wood, acrylic mirror, sound installation. Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council.
Laura Molina, Amor Alien, 2004. Collection of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago. CCBY-SA 3.0
Adál, Coconauts in Space, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

This exhibition is organized by UCR ARTSblock, and curated by Robb Hernández, Tyler Stallings, and Joanna Szupinska-Myers. Major support for the exhibition was provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. The exhibition was part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Lambent Foundation, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.