United States of Latin America and Jonathan Hernández

United States of Latin America and Jonathan Hernández

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Minerva Cuevas, America, 2006. Acrylic paint on wall. Courtesy Kadist Art Foundation and Galeria Kurimanzutto, Mexico City.

September 13, 2015

United States of Latin America and
DETROIT AFFINITIES: Jonathan Hernández

September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward Avenue 
Detroit, MI 48201


United States of Latin America
Participating artists: Pablo Accinelli, Edgardo Aragón, Juan Araujo, Felipe Arturo, Nicolás Bacal, Milena Bonilla, Paloma Bosquê, Pia Camil, Mariana Castillo Deball, Benvenuto Chavajay, Marcelo Cidade, Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker, Nicolás Consuegra, Minerva Cuevas, Elena Damiani, Leonardo Engel, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, Federico Herrero, Voluspa Jarpa, Runo Lagomarsino, Adriana Lara, Valentina Liernur, Mateo López, Renata Lucas, Nicolás Paris, Amalia Pica, Pablo Rasgado, Pedro Reyes, Gabriel Sierra, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Clarissa Tossin, Adrián Villar Rojas, Carla Zaccagnini

United States of Latin America brings together more than 30 emerging artists from Latin America, many of who will be exhibiting in the United States for the first time. The exhibition is based on an ongoing conversation between two curators, Jens Hoffmann and Pablo León de la Barra, who for over a decade have exchanged research about artists, artworks, and the overall development of the art world from Mexico to Argentina and the many countries in between. 

The exhibition brings this conversation into MOCAD in the form of a wide range of works in a variety of mediums: photographs of housing in Havana; a film about the effects of gang violence in Mexico; sculpture addressing the involvement of the CIA in Latin American dictatorships; boulders from a Guatemalen lake that have been turned into flip-flops; and paintings about the interplay of modernist houses, tropical vegetation, and utopian architecture. Mirroring the diversity of Latin America today, this exhibition presents an intentionally fragmented survey of the region and the art being made there, allowing for a glimpse of a place that although geographically near, in many ways seems far away and unfamiliar. 

Developed in collaboration with Kadist Art Foundation, United States of Latin America is curated by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD Senior Curator at Large, and Pablo León de la Barra, Guest Curator. A range of public programs and educational activities will run concurrently with the exhibition, including a public conversation with the curators, lectures by some of the participating artists, film screenings, and performances. 

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and the Kadist Art Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation.

DETROIT AFFINITIES: Jonathan Hernández 
Begun over a decade ago, Vulnerabilia is built upon Mexican artist Jonathan Hernández’s fascination with our media-saturated present. The title of the series evokes the term “vulnerability,” referencing the delicacy of original materials and the fragility of life. Cut directly from daily newspapers Hernández choreographs images as a gesture toward a shared humanity. Cataloguing and arranging hundreds of images, the artist creates a visual encyclopedia of abandoned architecture, the faces of dozens of politicians peering furtively at their watches, car crashes and other accidents—both catastrophic and rather ordinary—all of which contribute to define contemporary human life. Hernández’s appropriation of these mundane images transforms them with great unease into a tapestry of uncertainty, ambiguity, and intrigue.

DETROIT AFFINITIES is part of DETROIT CITY, a multiyear program comprised of DETROIT AFFINITIES (exhibition), DETROIT SPEAKS (public programs) and DETROIT STAGES (performance and music). For more information please visit: mocadetroit.org/detroitcity

DETROIT CITY funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kayne Foundation (Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree), Quicken Loans, Andre Sakhai, Liz and Jonathan Goldman, Jane Suitor, Scholar Property LTD, Jasmin Tsou, the Krawiecki Gazes Family, Kimberly Brown, and William Leung.

MOCAD exhibitions and public programs are supported by the Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. MOCAD Operations are supported by Masco Corporation Foundation, Erb Family Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

United States of Latin America and Jonathan Hernández at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
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Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
September 13, 2015

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