Resisting Paradise

9 Jun 2019 – 6 Jul 2019

Cost of entry

free admission


New York
New York, United States


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Featuring work by:
Deborah Anzinger
Leasho Johnson
Joiri Minaya


Resisting Paradise is an exhibition featuring Jamaican and Dominican artists creating work at the intersections of tourism, sexuality, gender, environmental concern, music, and the internet. The exhibition consists of existing and commissioned work resulting from an examination of preconceived notions of paradise, and tourism as a new means of colonization. Through their work in painting, photography, sculpture, video, graphic design, and installation, these artists reference shared histories of invasion, slavery, and economic exploitation of natural resources, and how these forces translate into the commodification of their own bodies in the Western imagining of paradisiacal tourist destinations. The show's title draws inspiration from a book by Bahamian writer Angelique V. Nixon, which discusses the perils of living in such a crafted, imagined paradise, and also the powerful ways in which cultural workers resist and transform those given narratives. 

The shared Caribbean experience of the plantation-to-resort economic development model makes evident the transition from slavery to service economy under tourism. The exhibition explores what happens when the tourism economy also applies to bodies—when sex and desire are also a currency. The project of colonialism and empire have left an undeniable mark on culture by shaping the way we relate to ourselves, each other, and to nature itself. Through transgression and appropriation, these artists envision new paradigms of life in the region and its diaspora by challenging preconceived notions of what it means to be Caribbean: a colonial, sexualized subject.


Marina Reyes Franco

Exhibiting artists

Deborah Anzinger

Leasho Johnson

Joiri Minaya


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