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"Museums Through Artists" at @museums_through_artists, Panama

@museums_through_artists, Panama
April 1, 2020

Starting in the second half of the 20th century, art museums began to show more interest in contemporary artists. Over time, the role of the museum was changing through the acceptance, study and incorporation of more current works within its collection; however the tension between the artist and the museum has always been in force. The institution continues to be a place that certifies the work, that establishes and codifies its place within the history of art; a site with power to be accepted or not. Some agree to be “chosen” to be part of the collection, others question it from a more sensitive point of view.

Although exhibiting or being part of a museum’s collection is the dream of many artists, others express an independent resistance of any power structure in the art world and develop works that criticize or question the museum’s practices. As a consequence of these approaches, many artists have deliberately carried out works that, due to their size, ephemeral materials or location, are not collectible by museums (nor by the commercial gallery system); still others have chosen to avoid the
institution entirely.

Museums Through Artists arose in February 2020 from an open call made by curator Maylin Pérez Parrado aimed at artists in Panama with the aim of dialoguing about museums in the country and their relationship with the artistic community. The meeting was attended by approximately thirty artists from different disciplines and nationalities, residing in Panama. Due to the relevance of the subject in the international arena as well, it was decided to extend the call to artists from other countries interested in participating.

The objective of this project is to reflect on the role of the museum based on the individual experience of each participating artist. This relationship is made visible through the creation of a free-form, technical or style work motivated by the museum as an object of study and the derived emotional connections. Taking into account the weak communication between the artistic community of the region, a virtual platform has been created that contains the works of the project and encourages the promotion of the artists’ work.

On the Instagram account @museums_through_artists the works have been uploaded with detailed information about them and links to the artists’ accounts, in this way the project also offers a space for promotion made up of a “virtual community” and connects with other cultural institutions, museums or managers. Most of the works show the artists’ frustration at the little support they receive from the museums, the disinterest and the lack of communication. Thus (perhaps metaphorically) Museums Through Artists becomes a conversation area where artists express their ideas and feelings about it. An attempt to establish a theoretical basis for the multiple foci of artists is not intended. Rather, recognize the variety of motives and interests that artists bring to the subject.

The project intends to remain open to the participation of artists of different nationalities and acquire a more international character, using the virtual exhibition medium specifically, and to dispense if necessary with the physical space.

The curator Maylin Pérez Parrado, is a Dutch Cuban national with headquarters in Cuba, Holland and Panama, from where she has developed various artistic projects in the cultural sector. That is why the following is clarified: This project can be exhibited in any country and offers multiple adaptation variants. We offer flexibility according to the objectives, resources and amount of
available spaces.


Meryaan Andrade (Panamá), Fernando Bocanegra (Panamá), Giana de Dier (Panamá),  Román Flórez (Colombia), Giana González (Panamá / Estados Unidos de América), Susana González-Revilla (Panamá),  Rafael Guillén (Venezuela), Julio Luque (Panamá), Marco Luque (Panamá), Bairo Martínez (Colombia), Carlos Miliani (Venezuela), Jairo Romero (Colombia), Daniel Silvo (España), Vanessa Orelli, Gabe Wong.


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