EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO
Presents La Bienal 2013: HERE IS WHERE WE JUMP
June 12, 2013 – January 4, 2014
7th biennial exhibition featuring 35 emerging Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American Artists
As announced this past Tues., Apr. 30th, the seventh edition of El Museo’s biennial exhibition, La Bienal 2013, will feature work by 35 emerging Latino and Latin American artists, from newly-minted to mid-career, who live and work in New York City metropolitan area. Simultaneously, El Museo is launching RADIANCE: After-Hours at El Museo a free Wednesday night after-hours summer art and dance party featuring gallery talks, performances, programs, and a resident DJ.
This installation of La Bienal is curated by El Museo Curator Rocío Aranda-Alvarado and Raúl Zamudio, an independent New York-based curator.
This year, La Bienal features Brazil as the special guest country. The biennial guest country presents an opportunity for El Museo to remain in conversation with similar urban artistic landscapes throughout Latin American and the Caribbean, and expose audiences to emerging artists in other locales.
“We are proud to host El Museo’s 7th Bienal, which captures the pulse of a unique moment of Latino arts in New York,” says Gonzalo Casals, Deputy Executive Director of El Museo. “After 13 years, El Museo’s Bienal continues to be a platform for our visitors to meet emerging Latino artists through the exhibition and exciting public programs.”
Since its first edition in 1999, La Bienal – formerly known as The (S) Files – has been a significant means for creating ties between institutions and artists, while building networks and opportunities for a wide variety of talented Latino artists. La Bienal alumni include Firelei Baez, Allora & Calzadilla, Margarita Cabrera, Alejandro Cesarco, Richard Garett, Pablo Helguera, Tamara Kostianovsky, Carlos Motta, and Iván Navarro.
“La Bienal represents an important opportunity both for the artists and the museum. We are in a dialogue, a moment that represents possibility and learning. We work together towards the process of creating awareness about artists and the ways in which they think and work,” says El Museo Curator Rocío Aranda-Alvarado.
The exhibition was designed to provide a platform for artists who may not be represented in larger artistic institutions, and who have never shown at El Museo. Through this survey, La Bienal hopes to bring visibility to their work and their creative process. La Bienal is interested in the conditions under which works of art are made and how they are received by the public. The artists’ methods and processes are of significance, as is the context in which they are created and interpreted. El Museo’s Bienal celebrates the experimental and experiential aspects of contemporary art, and supports the notion that this production is part of the history of contemporary American art.
The exhibition’s subtitle refers to a quote from a fable by Aesop, The Braggart, in which a boast about a jump results in a challenge to repeat a particular feat: “jump here, jump now, here is where you jump.” Here refers to the act of jumping, to the moment when the artist decides to break with conventions and engage in a fully experiential artistic process.
Here, is La Bienal, a moment of liberation from concerns of profitability and exposure.
Rather, it is a moment for artists to immerse themselves in the processes and materials that inspire them to create, and for the public to experience a community of artistic research.
“In a collective exhibition like La Bienal it is difficult to subsume all work under one theme, but I am under the impression all works in La Bienal operate in a sort of affectionate conceptualism,” says Chus Martínez, Chief Curator of El Museo.
These artists make direct reference to 1960s and 70s U.S. and Latin American conceptual approaches, and because they are younger artists they trust the materials they work with both to convey ideas and values. Poverty, justice, and freedom are not only conditions under which democracy happens, but are already expressed and understood in the matter of art in itself. Affection, a new compassionate feeling of love, is present in the works of many of these artists. The principal characteristic of this affection is that it is directed, not towards individuals or causes, but towards the materials themselves. All share an interest towards the ideas that inform artists’ practices, and yet they all have a new interest about how matter – which is mute – is able to talk and to acquire a compassionate emotion capable of moving and becoming audible and visible to the viewer.
“Our studio visits with artists began on one of the hottest days in July and ended in a frigidly cold, February evening. What remained steadfast was witnessing an astonishing array of work in diverse media and subject matter embodied with formal and conceptual sophistication. These factors are what made selections for La Bienal demanding if not nearly impossible, but ultimately very rewarding,” says Raúl Zamudio, La Bienal curator.
El Museo will be announcing the full list of artists via social media throughout the week. Follow El Museo del Barrio on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/elmuseo, and on Twitter @elmuseo and Instagram @elmuseo for the full roster of 35 artists in the exhibition.
El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Their richness is represented in El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and critically acclaimed exhibitions, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs.
For more information on El Museo del Barrio, please visit www.elmuseo.org.