Tag Archives: Art and Activism

Exhibit at Museo del Barrio: Playing With Fire

About Exhibit 
Comedy refers to any discourse intended to amuse. The Greeks describe it as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing conflict. This is particularly true with political satire which portrays persons or institutions as corrupt with a sense of humor. This was the general approach with the exhibition Playing with Fire, currently showing at El Museo del Barrio.
Nicolas Dumit Estevez, the curator, takes a very whimsical, in your face, paradoxical approach to very tough subject matter; that of decaying and oppressive systems. By pushing the societal envelope, Estevez, in collaboration with noted activist artists, politicizes art space with a smile.
With regard to documenting the exhibit, I wanted the photos to show the communication between art, space and the viewer.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: ADAL, Manuel Acevedo, Maris Bustamante, Nao Bustamante, Papo Colo, Abigail DeVille, Alejandro Diaz, Adonis Flores, Ester Hernández, Javier Hinojosa (b. 1956, México, D.F.) with the collaboration of Melquiades Herrera (Mexico, D.F., 1949-2003), Jessica Kairé, Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, Carlos Ortíz, Pedro Pietri, Jesús Natalio Puras Penzo (APECO), Quintín Rivera Toro, Juan Sánchez.
About the Curator: Nicolas Dumit Estevez
Source: Independent Curators International

Black Banana: Exhibitions of Absence

 

Black Banana: Exhibitions of Absence – the paper

by Novel ‘Idea’ Sholars  and  Maira Nolasco                          

PDF:blackbananaExhibitionsofAbsencepaperdraft2

Introduction

Black Banana is the examination of structural racism in art curation and it’s effects on descendants of Africa living in Latin America. Acting as a metaphor, it sheds light on the absence of those of the African Diaspora in the workforce, and as a part of the overall Latin American cultural project. What are the histories of these erasures, and how does this history prove the existence of a racist hegemony that results in cultural exclusion? When did the whitening of Latin America begin and how does this whitening affect the economy of the black populations as well as their integration into Latin American society? Is the lack of Black Latino representation proof of racist curatorial practices in the Latin American contemporary art world? These are the questions this project hopes to explore. The Black Banana focus is to create awareness around the possible denial of racism and how that denial effects who and what is curated. Ultimately the goal is to provoke an open dialog about identity, hybridity, and access. Continue reading Black Banana: Exhibitions of Absence

FINAL – Black Banana: Exhibitions of Absence – the paper

Introduction

  Black Banana is a brief examination of structural racism in art curation and it’s effects on descendants of Africa living in Latin America. Acting as a metaphor, it sheds light on the absence of those of the African Diaspora in the workforce, and as a part of the overall Latin American cultural project. What are the histories of these erasures, and how does this history prove the existence of a racist hegemony that results in cultural exclusion? When did the whitening of Latin America begin and how does this whitening affect the economy of the black populations as well as their integration into Latin American society? Ultimately, is the lack of Black Latino representation proof of racist curatorial practices in the Latin American contemporary art world? The Black Banana focus is to create awareness around the possible denial of racism and how that denial effects who and what is curated. Ultimately the goal is to provoke an open dialog about identity, hybridity, and access. 

PDF below

blackbananaexhibitionsofabsencethepaperbynovelsholars

Daniel Hernández-Salazar: Photography as Intervention

This topic came two weeks ago, after a good discussion with Nitin and Julian and my curiosity on the use of images on handling the issue of enforced disappearance from the point of view of a Guatemalan artist. After research, I realized that enforced disappearance is one of many techniques used by the military dictatorship to kill their own citizens. The main thing still remains: people were died so horribly and no justice has been done ever since. What the government did (and still does) is institutionalizing forgetfulness. So, the thing that has to be done is how to keep the historical memory alive, and not forgotten. Daniel Salazar’s work has been instrumental in keeping the memory alive. Through his Angels, he has a specific way to employ what he called a ‘guerilla art,’ an artistic and political approach and a visual intervention in public places in Guatemala that took the Guatemalan residents by surprise, that asked them to always remember and that proves to us all how art can be powerful in making a political statement.

My presentation: Photographic Art as Visual Intervention in Public Places.

Update on My Research

For quite a while I chose the topic of enforced disappearance with focus on the psychosocial aspect of Guatemala. Within this focus, I already contacted my source, a Guatemalan activist who also happens to be a director of de La Liga Guatemalteca de Higiene Mental. Since it hasn’t come into a fruitful result yet, I moved on to a new topic starting last week, thanks to a good discussion with Nitin and Julian. My new topic is now: Visual Intervention with focus on the work of Daniel Hernández-Salazar’s Angels in public places. The plan is interviewing him while also investigating and learning about his particular techniques in intervening public places. I actually also had a plan to interview and investigate the technique that HIJOS employed in their project, Empapaladas. However, my lack of knowledge in Spanish language becomes my disadvantage since many literatures about this is in Spanish so my focus now is in Daniel’s work.

Looking for Blackness | Update

I’ve connected with Mai Elka Prado Gil who is the co-founder of The Afro Latino Project. It’s an organization that has as mission to serve as a digital resource center and archive for the historical and material documentation and preservation of the cultures, histories and experiences of Afrodescendant people in the Americas and the Caribbean. We are planning to get together to talk further about the ways she and her partner, Amilcar Maceo Priestley can help in developing the project, Looking For Blackness. My hope is that it will be a seamless addition to the overall Guatemala project. Mai Elka mentioned that they are connected to the Garifuna and have collaborated on other projects. Right now I’m looking at developing an installation of video, photography and live performance. Included will be a panel discussion on race, art and curation in Guatemala/Latin America. Taking a cue from Julian, who suggested connecting with AfroLatinos here in New York, we can draw out the connections between the American experience and that of Latin America, with regards to questions of racism, curation of art and general access or cultural inclusion. I also have a connect in Belize that I am exploring.