El Museo del Barrio is proud to announce Something Beautiful: Reframing La Colección, the Museum's most ambitious presentation of its unique, complex, and culturally diverse permanent collection in over two decades. Organized by Rodrigo Moura, Chief Curator; Susanna V. Temkin, Curator; and Lee Sessions, Permanent Collection Associate Curator, the exhibition will present approximately 500 artworks, including new acquisitions and artist commissions, through rotating displays over the course of one year. Something Beautiful cuts across traditional chronological, geographic, and media-specific categories, reconsidering the Collection through new interdisciplinary approaches rooted in El Museo del Barrio’s foundational history and legacy. This forward-thinking model focuses on the contribution of Amerindian, African, and European cultures as the basis of visual production in the Americas and the Caribbean.
The exhibition is the result of a multi-year research initiative titled “Identity Reimagined: Reframing La Colección,” where the Museum engaged in communal dialogues with more than 40 artists, scholars,...community leaders, and museum professionals to explore the rich possibilities of the Collection. As part of renewed efforts to acknowledge Taíno culture as a living resource, a Taíno counsel led by scholar Christina Gonzalez and members of the Taíno community was assembled to invite the participation of cemí and other spiritually relevant object-beings currently in El Museo’s care. Together, these conversations helped shape a revised framework for the Collection.
The title, Something Beautiful, draws from a print in the collection by artist Marcos Dimas with a poem of the same name by Tania Niomi Ramirez. The work both celebrates and invokes the challenges of political, cultural, and historical inheritances, and as such, metaphorically reflects larger ideas proposed by this new reframing.
Artists Maria Gaspar (b. 1980 Chicago) and Glendalys Medina (b. 1979 Ponce, Puerto Rico) were commissioned to create new artworks reflecting and responding to Something Beautiful. Composed of a sculpture and new site-specific intervention, Medina’s Cohoba invites viewers into the cohoba ceremony, the spiritual center of Taíno life. Presented in Room 110, Gaspar’s presentation, Force of Things, includes a new body of work that marks the demolition of the largest single-site jail in the country, the Cook County Department of Corrections, as a response to the violent conditions of carcerality.
First rotation sections
The first rotation of Something Beautiful: Reframing La Colección is organized in eight sections plus seven artist spotlights. Themes and motifs reappear across sections to create a larger conversation throughout the exhibition. Sections include: Ocama Aracoel: Taíno spirits and forms and their influence on the Nuyorican art movement; Cosmic Visions: Indigenous and non-indigenous artists evoking Amerindian languages, landscapes, and other cultural references; First Impressions: Focusing on early acquisitions and the graphic portfolio in Puerto Rican printmaking; El Barrio: Different facets of life in East Harlem and other Barrios in New York, especially around the stoop, the sidewalk, and the bodega; The Street Transforms: Artists’ and activists’ interventions in public space; Pathos, Hope, Glory: Transhistorical portraits and self portraits of artists reflecting the diversity of the Latin experience; Clothed/Unclothed: Artworks that explore, exaggerate, and deconstruct what it means to be male, female, neither, or both; and Abstraccionistas: The protagonism of women in abstract art, matrilinear traditions, opticalities and the framing of reality through abstraction. Artist spotlights will feature the works of Jorge Soto Sánchez; Alejandro Diaz; Papo Colo; Antonio Lopez; and Myrna Baez.
On the occasion of Something Beautiful, an accompanying publication will be available. Drawing from the contributions of 45 invited speakers, the publications includes excerpted reflections about El Museo’s role in institutional ecosystems. Select contributors include: Beverly Adams, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Marcela Guerrero, Gala Kim, Yasmin Ramírez, Taína Travierso, Adriana Zavala, and Julian Zugazagoitia, among others.
Something Beautiful: Reframing La Coleccion is supported by the Terra Foundation for the Arts and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation. Public support provided by the NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs. Additional Permanent Collection-related funding provided by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Entrada actualizada el el 27 abr de 2023
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