Unrequited Leisure / 507 Hagan St. February 4, 2023 - March 31, 2023

Lejandro T. Ccierto, Lani Asunción, Anxious to Make

Unrequited Leisure is excited to announce our current exhibition, ...displacing., featuring video works by alejandro t. acierto, Lani Asunción, and Anxious to Make.


…the artists in this exhibition invite a compelling and critical conversation about the notions of global tourism, the economies both established and emerging which preserve and reinvent colonialism, and those ecosystems both biological and cultural which suffer as these pursuits are popularized.

alejandro t. acierto. Puro.

Puro draws on the global obsession with identifying, examining, and locating counterfeit Cuban tobacco products. Working directly from Internet searches and uploaded YouTube tutorial videos, I am interested in both establishing the presence of counterfeit as a form of economic sovereignty and articulating how class privilege and tourism impact the broader forces of the economy at large. While tourists attempt to find “authentic” Cuban experiences through obsessive investigations of identifying counterfeit products, other questions begin to emerge that reveal legacies of colonialism and State sanctioned violence. If counterfeit is as old as the country is, then aren’t the fake cigars also just as “Cuban”? In the obsessive search for authenticity provoked by the presence of counterfeit tobacco, what emerges is a parodic critique of tourism, the inherent privilege of consumption, and the colonial desire for quick consumable moments that are as elusive as the smoke that emanates from the ashes.

Lani Asunción. Duty-Free Paradise.

Duty-Free Paradise (DFP) is a multimedia exhibition and live performance series that plays on the tensions of lived and imagined Hawai’i. Through the lens of eco-tourism, around which the islands’ economy heavily circulates, this work explores the contradictions between perceptions and realities of island life as a constructed paradise through American pop culture, down to the flora and fauna, underwritten by militarism and biopolitics.

Anxious to Make. The Insufferable Whiteness of Being.

As crypto-rich investors relocate to Puerto Rico to build a new crypto-utopia called “Sol” (formally, “Puertopia”), The Insufferable Whiteness of Being considers their utopian vision within the larger historical context of colonialism and exploitation on the island. The video combines text drawn from online, comment-thread arguments about the island’s future with images of Puerto Rico from Western art history, travel and tourism videos, U.S. military training documentation, luxury real estate tours, and post-hurricane Maria drone footage.

Image: alejandro t. acierto. Video still image from, Puro. 2019.