Hot Links 04: Alana Iturralde León
Our editor Brian Fee interviewed Alana Iturralde León for the fourth edition of “Hot Links”. Alana is the inaugural Caribbean Art Initiative artist in residence at Gasworks in London, beginning October 2019.
–Tell us about yourself?
My name is Alana Iturralde, I am from Puerto Rico freshly graduated from a very special art Program At Penn State.
– What is your connection to the Caribbean Art Initiative?
Through them it is possible for me to be an artist in residency at Gasworks in London.
– What does “cultural exchange” mean to you?
It means being open to my surroundings and the life of a place.
– What is one unique perspective or element about the Caribbean that you would like the global community to know better?
I can’t speak in general terms, because i have lived mostly in Puerto Rico and I am coming to understand the Caribbean as a complex region with an extraordinary force. This much I can say, Puerto Rico will always be my main land and we are obviously not separate from the global ecological crisis. That’s why i believe in the importance of decolonizing and changing our relationship towards nature.
– And finally, describe something that is “hot” to you.
Right now, I am in old San Juan and the streets are steaming hot. It’s 88 degrees celsius. Heat can relax the body; moving in a slower pace is a way of keeping cool. I just came back from viewing a small collection of wooden saints. Not sure what I’m looking for yet, lots of devotional statues, makes me wonder — devotion and fire, Ana Mendieta comes to mind.