Exhibition reflection

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The gallery space at The New School is currently occupied with artworks from emerging and established Guatemalan and US-based artists. In the hallway outside the gallery space you are introduced to a timeline that serves as a backdrop to Guatemalan history and art. The timeline is informative and helpful to give a context to an audience that might not be familiar with Guatemalan history and art. The amount of text seems to be overwhelming to some of its viewers, as they quickly continue to the exhibition space. However, some of its viewers are more patient with the content, and spent more time on the timeline. I noticed the same interaction with the text accompanying the artwork; the audience that was at the gallery space the opening night did not invest much time to read about the artworks.

Inside the gallery space a given amount of art pieces have been curated and collected, and the various artwork unfolds organically in the space. The gallery space is small, but the room manages to hold the artwork without the artwork cancelling out each other. As you walk through the space the textiles made by Sitio-Sena are an aesthetically strong contribution to the space, as well as the piece by Daniel Hernández-Salazar.

One piece that stands out in the room is the large table with the red and black traditional Guatemalan woven tablecloth. The table is a part of Jessica Kaire and Daniel Perera’s contribution to the exhibition. On Saturday, April 11th, they lead a televisual gathering via Skype, where a conversation between one group in New York and one group in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, took place. In two identical scenarios in two different locations, the two groups shared a meal. The conversation was in Spanish, so for non-Spanish speaking viewers, such as myself, the concept was a bit confusing at first. However, during the course of the meal, it started to make sense. A different way of being “together”, across cultures and counties, was playfully performed at the gallery for a few hours.

Lisa-Mari Stenhaug

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