FANTASY ISLAND

A B O U T 

[English]
FANTASY ISLAND is a transmedia story about Puerto Rico. It was born as an immersive installation and performance of how tourism and consumer culture sell a “fantastical” luxury lifestyle, a tropical paradise twisting crisis into “opportunity”. Black and white Puerto Rican flags wave in the face of colonialism. Hurricanes Irma + María enter as atmospheric manifestations compounded by the fiscal and humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. A door opens into a virtual real estate office selling dreams of luxury and redevelopment via a spell of animated gifs, video, performances and altars. Urban development, displacement, and colonization: What is the cost of this amidst a humanitarian crisis with profound implications on an island of 3.5 million U.S. citizens? Whose future are we serving? This trans media project was founded in 2017, with the collaboration of journalist Huáscar Robles, and the support of Providence Art Culture Tourism, The Loisaida, Inc. Center, RISCA – Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana.

[Español]
FANTASY ISLAND es una historia transmedia sobre Puerto Rico. Nació como una instalación inmersiva y un ‘performance’ de cómo el turismo y la cultura de consumo venden un estilo de vida de lujo “fantástico”, un paraíso tropical que convierte la crisis en “oportunidad”. Banderas Boricuas en blanco y negro ondean frente al colonialismo. Lxs Huracanxs Irma + María ingresan como manifestaciones atmosféricas agravadas por la crisis fiscal y humanitaria en Puerto Rico. Se abre una puerta hacia una oficina virtual de bienes raíces que vende sueños de lujo y desarrollo a través de un hechizo de gifs animados, videos, ‘performances’ y altares. Desarrollo urbano, desplazamiento y colonización: ¿Cuál es el costo de esto en una crisis humanitaria en una isla de 3.5 millones de ciudadanos estadounidenses? ¿A qué futuro servimos? Este proyecto interdisciplinario fue fundado en 2017, con la colaboración del periodista Huáscar Robles y el apoyo de Providence Art Culture Tourism, The Loisaida, Inc. Center, RISCA – Consejo Estatal de las Artes de Rhode Island, y MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y C ultura latino americana.

 

R E S E A R C H

[ISLA FANTASTICA: LIST OF REFERENCES ON THE ECONOMIC + POLITICAL CONTEXT OF PUERTO RICO]

T H E  I S L A N D

MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LUXURY PROPERTIES MARKETED TO FOREIGNERS WHILE THE ISLAND IS IN THE MIDST OF AN ECONOMIC AND HUMANITARIAN CRISIS:

ANIMATED INTERVENTIONS

<<<CLICK HERE FOR THE COLLECTION OF ANIMATED GIFS>>>

 

THE REAL ESTATE OFFICE / PERFORMANCE: 

An experience that explores how tourism and consumer culture sell a “fantastical” luxury lifestyle, a tropical paradise twisting crisis into “opportunity”. A door opens into a real estate office selling dreams of luxury and reconstruction and the viewer delves into a dizzying spell of animated gifs, performances, and altars. 

 

FANTASY ISLAND AT LOISAIDA

FANTASY ISLAND at Loisaida Arts Center, New York, NY. Oct 5 – Nov 28, 2017. Installation, performances, panel discussion, and community forum. FANTASY ISLAND panel discussion (Oct 25, 2017) featured Javier Torres (community development + philantropy), Ed Morales (journalist), Shey Rivera (artist); moderated by Huascar Robles (journalist). “Stormwater” performance on Sat, Nov 11, 2017 ft Shey Rivera + Huascar Robles, with guest artist Joe Louis. Queer, surrealist ‘bohemia’ music and poetry to conjure healing. Photos by Audaz Productions / Melvin Audaz

 

FANTASY ISLAND at MACLA

Part of the group show “Notes on Democracy” at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latina (MACLA), San Jose, CA. Dec 2017-Mar 2018. San Jose Center for Latino Arts. Curatorial team: Joey Reyes, Damian Kelly, William Ramirez. Photos by Damian Kelly.

 

 

About the artist

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is a multi genre artist, arts administrator, and community organizer.  With 9+ years of arts administration experience, Rivera engages with art and culture as a catalyst for social change through placekeeping, community-driven design, cross-sector partnerships, and creative industries. As an artist, Rivera is active in the mediums of performance, installation, digital media, and poetry/narrative. The creations span a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness to magic. Rivera is also a performance curator and producer of interventions that activate people creatively. 

PRESS/Interviews

Hyperallergic

ArtScope New England 

Motif Magazine