The exhibition’s four themes— Body and Nature at SPACE and Home and Street at CSU Fullerton—will anchor a dialogue between abstraction and daily life. The exhibition is curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, the Chief Curator at the SPACE Collection. A bilingual catalogue will be published to accompany Daily Abstractions.
The exhibition Daily Abstractions: Body – Nature/Home – Street aims to offer a thought-provoking perspective regarding the dynamic field of contemporary abstraction in Latin America. We propose abstraction as an expanded field of reality, one that is in direct dialogue with it. The four themes of the exhibition— Body, Nature, Home, and Street— will anchor a dialogical interchange between abstraction and daily life.
In Latin America, abstraction is often a strategy of critical interrogation of the social, the political arenas, and culture. A vital form of abstraction is inserted in everyday life, whether through appropriation or recycling of materials and objects from popular or industrial culture, or in projects dealing directly with social, cultural, conceptual, or ideological issues.
Abstraction, particularly in Latin America, can be seen as an area of resistance different from utopianism at the beginning of the 20th century. Yasmil Raymond has stated meaningfully that “an abstract resistance, in its broader sense, is the artwork that refuses an idealistic narrative of normalcy while it questions the commodity product with the barricade of contradictions and irreverence. ” Supporting this perspective, abstraction can be seen as an investigation derived from the ideological, symbolic, and physical reality of today. It is charged with content and references to the real world, not in opposition or negation of it.
In the expansive field of abstraction directly related to popular and industrial culture, the categories or modes of abstraction are either juxtaposed or their limits are blurred, making it impossible or even counterproductive to define them or separate them. Since popular culture in Latin America is not dictated by the canonical notion of pop, which is associated to mass media, consumerism and the entertainment industry; artists address popular and mass culture by expanding and questioning the “pop” arena as a hybrid cultural subject that coexists in contemporary Latin American culture. In this exhibition, the term “daily” denotes hybrid cultures stemming from the coexistence of cultural, popular, and industrial traditions from disparate economic realities in the continent.
1 Yasmil Raymond. ‘Contending with Comfort: The Possibility of an Abstract Resistance’, in Abstract Resistance, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2010, pp.16-17