Chicago artist Josue Pellot deploys several mediums and styles in order to examine his Puerto Rican roots as transplanted into the quintessential American experience – that is, as mediated by pop culture and consumerism in his current exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. Thus, he displays a photomontage of the iconic fortress El Morro in Puerto Rico in which it is conflated with a supermercado/laundromat/liquor store. In fact, many architectural structures in the United States do mimic this famous castle, and his neon sculpture of conquistadors and the native population’s revenge, 1493, was originally installed in the windows of La Municipal, a supermarket in Humboldt Park, during the last Puerto Rican Day Parade.
In Temporary Allegiance, the artist has placed in the gallery a flag that is an amalgam of U.S. and Puerto Rican flags, more specifically the remains of what was originally used by the artist in a installation/performance in Puerto Rico, after damage sustained by local police interference. Sitting limply in the gallery as sculpture, one can only guess at the resonance and tensions encapsulated in its history.
Josue Pellot received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2003 and an MA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University in 2006. His work has been presented in several exhibitions in the Chicago area and in San Juan, Puerto Rico including a performance at the Museo de Arte de San Juan.