EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO ANNOUNCES FALL 2018 EXHIBITION LINEUP:
Liliana Porter: Other Situations
September 13, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography September 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019
NEW YORK, NY, August 14, 2018 – El Museo del Barrio will reopen its Galleries after a year-long renovation, this fall, with Liliana Porter: Other Situations and Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography. Organized by SCAD Museum of Art, and curated by Humberto Moro, SCAD Curator of Exhibitions, Liliana Porter: Other Situations presents five decades of Porter ́s artistic evolution, and is the fifth in El Museo del Barrio’s annual series of women-artist retrospectives. Among the significant works included in the exhibition are the artist’s 1970s photographs alluding to space and the body, and a series of prints referencing surrealist René Magritte that interrogate image, representation and simulacra. Concurrently, El Museo will present Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography, organized by E. Carmen Ramos, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)’s deputy chief curator and curator of Latino art. The group exhibition examines how Latino photographers depicted America’s urban streets when notions of the inner city began to emerge. The title of the exhibition is taken from Piri Thomas’ bestselling memoir Down These Mean Streets (1967), in which the author narrates his tough upbringing in New York City’s El Barrio (East Harlem).
“We are excited to inaugurate our new and improved Galerias this fall with two exceptional exhibitions that present diverse, complex, and thoughtful perspectives of our communities,” said Patrick Charpenel, Executive Director, El Museo del Barrio. “In collaboration with SCAD, we will present Argentinian artist Liliana Porter’s first museum solo show in New York City in more than 25 years as well as an incredible group show, Down These Mean Streets, organized by SAAM, that beautifully depicts and acknowledges the daily realities of our urban communities, including our neighborhood of El Barrio, during a critical time in history.”
Liliana Porter: Other Situations
September 13, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Organized by SCAD Museum of Art and curated by Humberto Moro, SCAD Curator of Exhibitions, Liliana Porter: Other Situations is a non-linear survey of Porter’s work from 1973 to 2018, which explores the conflicting boundaries between reality and fiction, and the ways in which images are circulated and consumed. The exhibition highlights the fundamental distinction that Porter creates between the notions of “narrative” and “situation” in contrast to the structures implicit in most stories that suggest a relationship with time, and in which the artist is not interested. In her work, the past and future of an action becomes irrelevant in light of the urgency and absurdity of the problems faced by the figures portrayed. Sometimes paired in conversation or arranged in larger groups, Porter’s characters — a pantheon of cultural figures such as Elvis Presley, Che Guevara, Jesus, Mickey Mouse and Benito Juárez — evokes questions about representation, image dissemination and public life, and are particularly relevant in present times, when the fields of politics, spectacle and celebrity culture collide and merge. Among the significant pieces included in the exhibition are Porter's 1970s photographs alluding to space and the body, and more recent works like the “Forced Labor” series, in which the artist utilizes miniature figurines to make a statement about reality, labor and self-awareness.
"Humans are drawn to art that tells us new and surprising stories, illuminating us and our world in ways we don't expect, which is exactly what Liliana Porter does in 'Other Situations,'" said SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace. “As SCAD shares its Porter exhibition with the esteemed El Museo del Barrio, new audiences of all ages have the opportunity to be transported, and transformed by her work."
Along with the exhibition, this fall, Porter will present a new theater performance, a medium that she has explored in recent years in close collaboration with artist Ana Tiscornia. Specially commissioned for the occasion, the performance will be presented at the renowned performance art space, The Kitchen. In addition, El Museo del Barrio will produce a publication focusing on artist Liliana Porter’s theatrical output – the first of its kind– in an effort to further disseminate the artist’s work and legacy.
ABOUT LILIANA PORTER
Born in Argentina in 1941, Liliana Porter, originally educated in printmaking — a discipline that deeply influenced her practice — moved to New York in 1964, where she cofounded the New York Graphic Workshop with artists Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo. Since then, Porter has worked in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, assemblages, video, installation and, more recently, theater.
Porter’s art has been exhibited in more than 35 countries in over 450 group shows, and is a part of public and private collections including El Museo del Barrio. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, and Sculpture Magazine, among other publications. In 2013, the Fundación Patricia Phelps de Cisneros published the book Liliana Porter in Conversation with Inés Katzenstein as part of the Conversaciones/Conversations series. Galleries in Europe, Latin America and the United States represent the artist.
Liliana Porter: Other Situations is made possible through major support from the Jacques & Natasha Gelman Foundation, series sponsor of El Museo del Barrio’s Women’s Retrospective Series.
Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography
September 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Organized by E. Carmen Ramos, SAAM's deputy chief curator and curator of Latino art, the exhibition explores the work of ten photographers—Manuel Acevedo, Oscar Castillo, Frank Espada, Anthony Hernandez, Perla de Leon, Hiram Maristany, Ruben Ochoa, John Valadez, Winston Vargas, and Camilo José Vergara—who were driven to document and reflect on the state of American cities during post-World War II.
Rather than approach the neighborhoods as detached observers, these artists deeply
identified with their subject. Activist and documentary photographer Frank Espada captured humanizing portraits of urban residents in their decaying surroundings. Hiram Maristany and Winston Vargas lovingly depicts street life in historic Latino neighborhoods in New York City, offering rare glimpses of bustling community life that unfolded alongside urban neglect and community activism. Working in Los Angeles, Oscar Castillo captured both the detritus of urban renewal projects and the cultural efforts of residents to shape their own neighborhoods. Perla de Leon’s poignant photographs of the South Bronx in New York—one of the most iconic blighted neighborhoods in American history—place into sharp relief the physical devastation of the neighborhood and the lives of the people who called it home. John Valadez’s vivid portraits of stylish young people in East Los Angeles counter the idea of inner cities as places of crime. Camilo José Vergara and Anthony Hernandez adopt a cooler, conceptual approach in their serial projects, which return to specific urban sites over and over, inviting viewers to consider the passage of time in neighborhoods transformed by the urban crisis. The barren “concrete” landscapes of Ruben Ochoa and Manuel Acevedo pivot on unconventional artistic strategies such as the merging of photography and drawing, to inspire a second look at the physical features of public space that shape the lives of urban dwellers.
At El Museo del Barrio, public support was provided from former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. On behalf of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition is organized with support from the Bernie Stadiem Endowment Fund. Additional support provided by the Latino Initiatives Pool of the Smithsonian Latino Center the new acquisitions featured in this exhibition.
ABOUT EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO
El Museo del Barrio, founded by a coalition of Puerto Rican educators, artists, and activists, is the nation’s leading Latino and Latin American cultural institution. The Museum welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of these communities through its extensive Permanent Collection, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals, and special events.
The Museum is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street in New York City, and open Wednesday to Saturday from 11:00am – 6:00pm, and Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00pm (as of September 13, 2018). Admission is Suggested.
To connect with El Museo del Barrio via Social Media, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information, please visit http://www.elmuseo.org.
ABOUT THE SCAD MUSEUM OF ART
The SCAD Museum of Art is a premier contemporary art museum opened in 2011 that features emerging and established international artists through commissioned works and rotating exhibitions. The museum develops rich connections between exhibitions, programming and the museum’s collection, engaging members and local communities with projects and special initiatives of an international scope. For more information, visit scadmoa.org.
ABOUT THE SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM
The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than four centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free.
Follow the museum on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Website: americanart.si.edu