November 13, 2016 - MALBA - Verboamérica
November 13, 2016

MALBA

Verboamérica. MALBA Collection, 2016.

Verboamérica
Malba Collection

MALBA
Avda. Figueroa Alcorta 3415
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Hours: Wednesday 12–9pm,
Thursday–Monday 12–8pm

T +54 11 4808 6500
prensa@malba.org.ar

www.malba.org.ar
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Verboamérica
Malba Collection

MALBA
Avda. Figueroa Alcorta 3415
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Hours: Wednesday 12–9pm,
Thursday–Monday 12–8pm

T +54 11 4808 6500
prensa@malba.org.ar

www.malba.org.ar
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

In the framework of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of MALBA’s founding, the museum presents Verboamérica, a new exhibition of its permanent collection, curated by historian and researcher Andrea Giunta and by the museum’s artistic director, Agustín Pérez Rubio. The exhibition—the fruit of a wider research project that has been underway for over two years—proposes a living history of Latin America in actions and experiences, a postcolonial history that does not understand Latin American art in the terms proposed by European art, but rather on the basis of the words that the artists themselves used in devising their aesthetic agendas.

Verboamérica is performative and temporal; it evidences the crisis of a single and linear notion of historical time that globalization has witnessed,” explains Pérez Rubio in the exhibition catalogue; a cornerstone of the publication is Joaquín Torres-García’s famous map América invertida [Inverted America], a work that, as early as 1936, posited a modification in the geographic and spatial, but also temporal, pre-eminence of the Americas.

The exhibition breaks with a classical chronological overview. It includes 170 pieces divided into eight thematic clusters with works from different historical periods and in an array of formats (painting, drawing, photography, video, book, historical document, and installation). The clusters are: I. In the Beginning; II. Maps, Geopolitics, and Power; III. City, Modernity, and Abstraction; IV. Lettered City, Violent City, Imagined City; V. Work, Crowd, and Resistance; VI. The Country and The Outskirts; VII. Bodies, Affects, and Emancipation; and VIII. Indigenous America, Black America.

In the words of Andrea Giunta, “They key words in this exhibition come from artistic experience in Latin America: Anthropophagy, Indigenism, Negritude, Martín Fierro, Neo-concretism, Madi, Perceptismo, Constructive Universalism, Muralism. They come as well from the Latin American experience of cities—real cities, dreamed cities, utopian cities—of work, exploitation, and geopolitics; of the outskirts of the city, real and imagined landscapes; and of the banished (prostitution, poverty, unruly bodies not in keeping with how the patriarchal canon has constructed both woman and man). The exhibition revolves around black, indigenous, and peasant insurrection, the demand for land. It attempts to render visible the poetics of the indominable, forms of aesthetic emancipation.”

MALBA’s founding collection, which was donated by Eduardo F. Costantini in 2001, consisted of 223 works. It now encompasses a total of 590, and it continues to grow every year thanks to donations and to the Acquisitions Program, which gained impetus in 2012 pursuant to the creation of the Acquisitions Committee. The curators envision Verboamérica in relation to a curatorial discourse that resonates with the museum’s public programs during recent years. One of its premises was that the region’s cultural diversity be reflected in a large number of works by artists of different nationalities and more equitable gender representation. Verboamérica features a larger number of women artists and more works in disciplines and techniques like video, historical documentation, and artists’ books. 

Catalogue & glossary
A 380-page catalogue with Spanish and English editions was published in conjunction with the exhibition. The book contains essays by the curators and an exhaustive analysis of the exhibition’s eight clusters and reproductions of all of the works on exhibit. The catalogue opens with a glossary of terms, nomenclatures, and definitions that can be seen as part of a specifically Latin American vocabulary. As such, Verboamérica is a possible re-writing of modern and contemporary Latin American history. The terms in the glossary are not only related to style and art, they are also political, social, literary, and cinematographic in nature. The array of terms includes “Activism,” “Destructive Art,” “Military Dictatorship,” “Madi,” “Postcolonialism,” and “LGBT.” The glossary is envisioned as a living organic project; researchers and students, as well as the general public, are invited to suggest new entries on the website www.glosario.malba.org.ar. Those suggestions will then be analyzed by an advisory committee. The aim is for the glossary to expand over time and beyond the context of the exhibition.

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