Reflexiones de Guatemala Despues

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Now that the exhibition Guatemala Despues opened, I can finally take time to reflect on it.

My favorite piece is Maquina de la Fortuna, from Colectivo Kaqjay Moloj, since it references to the power of words, wishes and community. It is a powerful art piece that combines english, spanish and Kaqchikel, engaging people of all languages and cultures. Another piece that was powerful was Sitio Seña, since its main issued, Migration and materiality, are approached in a nonconventional way, tracing signs and creating forms that translated into creative art work. I could connect to those pieces and in my visits to the gallery I could see many interactions between the audiences and that particular artwork.

Regarding Guatemala Despues, the overall museography of the exhibition feels sloppy, there are several art pieces that are poorly hung, such as El olvido que no sabe que es olvido (Yasmin Hage, Alejandro Flores, and Camilo A. Luin), and there are pieces that go unnoticed such as the 3 D printed piece (since it is white, you can barely see the detail being placed in a white stand -there is no contrast).

Although the timeline explains the Guatemalan historical situation, it does not engage the audience in the Guatemalan conflict mainly because the text is too extensive and people do not read it. As a consequence, most audiences do not have enough context to feel connected to the art work.  In one of my visits to the gallery there was a person using the art piece ¿Me escuchas? (Jessica Kairé and Daniel Perera) as an office, disrespecting the art piece and the artists.

Regarding my personal conection to the exhibition, unfortunately, as a student I never felt like a part of the exhibition beyond doing several translations and writing emails. The interactions we had with the Guatemalan artists were forced and rushed which resulted in a difficult collaboration on both ends. This led to very little learning on my part as to what curatorial practices consist of, primarily I simply learned how to manage my translating skills.

As a general reflexion, I learned a lot from the exhibition, in the conventional and the unconventional way of schooling.

By Ivana Garcia

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Image References: Guatemala Despues, Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/131191651@N07/16972985850/

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