Guatemala Despues has been a whirl-wind, real-world education about the inner workings of art curation. It ask’s the questions; What does it mean to execute a show that has many artists, and how do you facilitate doing that? How do you address a culture not your own, with sensitivity and purpose? And also, what is meaning in the context of contemporary art?
Ultimately, how do you make a show cohesive and relevant in the aftermath of a devastation that affected a whole countries psyche?
It’s a huge undertaking, PERIOD!
As a class, we have been a part of that process, the messy, sometimes “shitty” process that can be equally rich and rewarding, when all is said and done. I witnessed, the arguments, and dissatisfaction as some things, because of time constraints and logistics, fell by the wayside. But at the end of the day, when it was most critical, we ALL stepped up, and did what we had to do, for better or for worse. This is no different from any production experience, in my opinion.
Despite disagreements, when it came time to announce the shows opening on Thursday night, everyone was professional, and did what they had to do. It was something to be respected and learned from. We’ve had readings, speakers, and visits to other exhibits, yet NOTHING, to me, compares to the value of the process of putting together this exhibit, however problematic.
This is school, and we have been schooled.
A couple of days ago I brought my friend Erica Milde, a student in the Media Studies graduate program, to our exhibit and recorded her response and critique of Guatemala Despues.