Is there such a thing as Latin American Art? Does it need this label in a global art world? It is, of course, clear that there is no such thing, just as there is no African nor European art. It would be interesting though to include Caribbean art (which of course doesn't exist either) and talk about specific forms of creolization in the way that Edouard Glissant means it from a global perspective that is not just Western. If we look at different artistic expressions in different local contexts within a geographic and linguistic area called Latin America, the insights we get are very interesting. It might remind us of a kaleidoscope, an ever changing, glittering flux of perspectives on a fluid carrier medium.
Through extensive field research involving travel in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Peru, I have been seeking to answer these questions and go into the Looking Glass. Those journeys have included connecting as much as possible with locals and investigating the subject of visual culture through them. In order to learn about local traditions, I have explored a small portion of the Amazonas on the border of Tres Fronteras, and stayed with an indigenous family on one of the Islands of Lake Titicaca. Additionally, in Peru I visited the art school in Cusco which is famous for the Cuzco School paintings. Whether in rural settings or the urban landscapes of Latin America, my approach has always been to be humble, to listen and learn, aware that my perspective is that of a Western woman. The discovery of immense cultural diversity intensely broadened my horizons. In order to develop an understanding of Latin American art, I have realized that attempting to describe it requires an open mind that stretches beyond any pre-conceived Eurocentric notions. Only then it is possible to appreciate the enormous variety of artistic expressions and contexts throughout multiple Latin American regions.
The projects described here reflect fifteen collaborations that were carried out, over a period of six years involving thirty-four artists. In some cases, the exchanges included galleries in various Latin American countries. The themes explored were diverse and varied. They ranged from the abstract and highly conceptual to the more tangible and material. Together, the culminating exhibitions have each contributed to exploring essential questions about Latin American Art. The answers, however, are far from simple or complete. Beyond the collection gathered here, the process of discovery continues. So far, I have only witnessed the seedlings of my understanding beginning to emerge. During the process of trying to better understand Latin American Art and through producing exhibitions in Switzerland, as well as curating content in Mexico City and Brazil, it has become clear that cultural bridges can be built through the universal interests that inform artistic expression. These successful projects have demonstrated enormous potential for future artistic collaborations of all sorts. The possibilities are endless. - Andrea Hinteregger De Mayo, 2018.
Text in English and Spanish.
Publisher: Turner Publicaciones, S.L.
Number of pages: 152
Dimensions: 210 x 148 mm