EI Museo del Barrio presents superreal: alternative realities in photography and video, an exhibition of photography and video from 1980 to the present that explores the role of photographic mediums in presenting reality. These mediums conventionally assert the notion of reality and accuracy to viewers, but the works in this exhibition investigate the many layers that surround our traditional sense of the real. This exploration manifests through the artists’ creations of alternative realities, ones where the worlds of landscapes, human figures, architecture, objects, and natural phenomena are emphasized or subverted, revealed or obscured.

superreal features 70 works by artists such as ADAL, Tania Bruguera, Ana de la Cueva, Vik Muniz, Miguel Rio Branco, Betsabee Romero, Andres Serrano, and Teresa Serrano. These artists utilized their distinct working methods and viewpoints to challenge preconceived reality, and engage with their environments in both surreal and super-real ways that also subvert narrative forms.

The illusion of reality permeates in Las Hermanas Iglesias’, sisters Janelle and Lisa Iglesias, Nudes series. The artists wear knitted nude suits that mirror the same individual marks and scars on their own skin, and create self-portraits in dream-like environments of Tasmania. In Esteban Pastorino’s works, the photographer cloaks the pristine deco architecture of Francisco Salomone in a spooky darkness that hints to the history the facades conceal and mirror. Betsabee Romero transformed a 1955 Ford into an “Ayate car” to represent the experiences of Mexicans hoping for a better life in the United States.

The exterior floral patterning of the “Ayate car” and interior filled with dried roses goes beyond feminizing a traditionally masculine cultural icon by exposing the transitory and capricious nature of reality.