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06.02.2021

"OTRXS MUNDXS" in Face of Institutional Reaffirmation: Retrospective Views of an International Art Museum

Can a possibility for the future arise from the same device that enforces an act of domination?

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Notes

  1. James Oles traces a route where he relates that the collection was formed by “The artists who resided in Mexico, who at that time were called immigrants and today transnationals—such as Mathias Goeritz, Carlos Mérida and Kazuya Sakai, who participated in some way in abstractionism […]. The collection also included works by Mexican painters associated with the so-called Generación de la Ruptura (Lilia Carrillo, Manuel Felguerez, Vicente Rojo, and others), as well as another from Oaxaca (Francisco Toledo)”. In addition, he mentions the testimony of Carla Stellweg, who “remembers having introduced certain artists to the Tamayo, and that Thomas Messer, director of the Guggenheim Museum, skillfully suggested to others, but the main advisor was Pierre Levai, director of the Marlborough Gallery, from whom they acquired many of their important works, including paintings by Francis Bacon, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, and Mark Rothko. ” Superposiciones (Mexico, CONACULTA-INBA, Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo, 2015), p. 16-20.

  2. The same Tamayo-Gamboa duo collaborated in 1974 in the organization and founding of the Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art of Oaxaca.

  3. James Oles, Superposiciones (Mexico, CONACULTA-INBA, Olga and Rufino Tamayo Foundation, 2015) and James Oles, “An Uneasy Alliance: The Early Years of the Tamayo Museum” in Michele Greet and Gina McDaniel Tarver, Art Museums of Latin America: Structuring Representation (New York: Routledge, 2020), 401-412.

  4. A book that portrays the artistic context pointing to the implementation of the neoliberal model and the planning of NAFTA is Amy Sarah Caroll, REMEX: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era (Texas: University of Texas Press, 2018).

  5. It is worth remembering that during the planning of the building the Tamayo Museum orchestrators faced some comments against the clear lack of land in the area to build a new arts complex. Oles describes how it was Carlos Hank González, Regent of the Federal District, who gave a solution to this claim, by offering the Azteca Golf Clubhouse to be demolished, and allowing the postmodern architecture design proposed by the duo of Teodoro González de León and Abraham Zabludovsky to be erected on that site (1979-1981). James Oles, Superposiciones, p. 10.

  6. Olivier Debroise describes this same phenomenon in: Olivier Debroise, El arte de mostrar el arte mexicano. Ensayos sobre los usos y desusos del exotismo en tiempos de globalización (1992-2007) (México: Promotora Cultural Cubo Blaco, 2018).

  7. Edgar Hernández, “Chapultepec otro millonario elefante blanco”, Artishock. https://artishockrevista.com/2020/09/08/chapultepec-otro-millonario-elefante-blanco/ (Accessed on February 2, 2021)

  8. Likewise, in 2012, after a new remodeling of the venue during the government of Felipe Calderón, another series of complaints, such as those energetically expressed by Raquel Tibol and Margo Glantz, populated the newspapers and social networks in response to the initiative to name the main rooms of the property with the names of Hank Rohn and Angélica Fuentes Téllez, after these characters gave important donations for the project. The exact words of the art critic were: “It does not seem to me that the rooms of a museum as important as Tamayo bear the names of such unworthy people, because we all know that they have a regrettable past; their fortunes are quite suspicious.” Ángel Vargas, “Indignacion por imponer el nombre de Carlos Hank Rhon a sala del museo Tamayo” in La Jornada, August 23, 2012. https://www.jornada.com.mx/2012/08/23/cultura/a07n1cul (Accessed on January 28, 2021).

  9. We find some similarities and counterpoints in past directions that allow us to trace a historical trajectory. We highlight the management of Carmen Cuenca (2011-2014), who devised three thematic axes: the research and dissemination of Tamayo’s initial collection, the professionalization of the various areas of the museum, as well as an international contemporary art program. On the other hand, during the administration of Juan Gaitán (2015-2019), he highlighted the links with institutions of international stature such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, the Aspen Art Museum, among others. As well as the growth of the collection of the enclosure through the establishment of links with galleries in the country. More information: Merry MacMasters, “El museo Tamayo recibirá con mayor capacidad de exhibición” in La Jornada (agosto del 2012). https://www.jornada.com.mx/2012/08/20/cultura/a06n1cul (Accessed on February 3, 2021).

  10. “Magalí Arriola sobre la dirección del Museo Tamayo. Entrevista entre Andrea Cuevas y Magalí Arriola”, Artishock Revista, octubre 2020. https://artishockrevista.com/2020/08/11/magali-arriola-entrevista-museo-tamayo/ (Consultado el 25 de enero de 2021).

  11. Idem.

  12. For a reading of the exhibition’s curatorial approach, see the Otrxs Mundxs section on the Tamayo museum page: https://www.museotamayo.org/exposiciones/otrxs-mundxs (Accessed on January 11, 2021).

  13. Friedric Jameson, “El posmodernismo como lógica cultural del capitalismo tardío” in Ensayos sobre el posmodernismo, compilation by Horacio Tarcus, trd. Esther Pérez, Christian Ferrer & Sonia Mazzco http://cipec.nuevaradio.org/b2-img/jamesonposmodernismo.pdf (Accessed on January 16, 2021).

  14. Pacas are spaces inside local markets that sell second-hand clothing, usually surpluses from the clothing import market.

  15. Juan Acha, El arte y su distribución (México: FCE, 1983).

  16. Alida Piñón, “Recorte presupuestal impactó en el INBAL; capítulo 3000, en incertidumbre para 2021”, El Universal. December 2020. https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/cultura/recorte-presupuestal-impacto-en-el-inbal-capitulo-3000-en-incertidumbre-para-2021 (Accessed on February 4, 2021).

  17. Audre Lorde, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, https://sentipensaresfem.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/haal/ (Accessed on January 15, 2021).

  18. An example of these openings is the recent exhibition Véxoa. Nos sabemos (2020) at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo in Brazil, in which not only artists from native peoples participate but the curator herself, Naina Terena, is an indigenous researcher and activist. In the same way, this exhibition has the objective of reconfiguring the same conception of museum and collection of the Pinacoteca. See Raphael Fonseca, “ Véxoa: Nos sabemos first exclusively Indigenous contemporary art exhibition at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo”, in Terremoto, November 2020. (Accessed on January 23, 2021)

  19. Regarding the exhibition production as a space for dialogue and encounter with “otherness,” we recall the work process for the exhibition Dja Guata Pora: Rio de Janeiro Indígena, presented between 2017 and 2018 by the indigenous curator Sandra Benites and Pablo Lafuente. In the words of the curators: “… we believe it is necessary for indigenous people to take the space of museums, universities, and libraries. Hence the decision to occupy the Museu de Arte do Rio, to try to show the multiple realities of the indigenous peoples of the state of Rio from their perceptions and complexities.” More info in: “Caminar hacia el protagonismo indígena: sobre el proceso de trabajo en <>”, in Terremoto, Abril del 2019 https://terremoto.mx/online/nos-sabemos-nos-aprendemos/ https://terremoto.mx/revista/caminar-hacia-el-protagonismo-indigena-sobre-el-proceso-de-trabajo-en-dja-guata-pora-rio-de-janeiro-indigena/ (Accessed on January 23, 2021).

  20. We appreciate the comments and suggestions to the text made by Gustavo A. Cruz.

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