exhibition

tropical curating
14 Jul 2005

SMCS on 11, Thursday July 14, 8.30 p.m.. Free admission. Conducted in English.

Reservations via desk@stedelijk.nl (you will receive a response only in case of overbooking).

For the summer months Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam is bringing the Caribbean home with the exhibition Tropical Abstraction
SMCS on 11 is also devoting attention to ‘tropicalism’. As a part of this, on July 14 Pablo León de la Barra (b. Mexico City, 1972) will be lecturing on Tropical Curating. He will deal with the origins of this trend in the visual arts in the late 1960s, and the present renewed interest.

In Tropical Curating Pablo León de la Barra explains how he investigates tropical strategies and elements. His point of departure is a quote from the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980), who in 1968 expressed his doubts about the new trend of ‘tropicalism’. According to him, this ‘tropicalism’ appropriated tropical elements for itself in a superficial manner, without taking into account the culture which lay behind them.

Pablo León de la Barra has been active as an artist, curator and gallery owner in London for many years. For instance, from 2002 through 2005 he was media director of the 24/7 Gallery, which functioned as an international, mobile and mutating art space without budget. He had a hand in the projects To Be Political It Has to Look Nice at Apexart (New York, 2003) andPR04: Tribute to the Messenger (Puerto Rico, 2004). His present project is WC3 White Cubical Toilet Gallery, in the women’s toilet of the George and Dragon Public House. Furthermore, he is editor ofPablo Internacional Magazine and director of Blow de la Barra Gallery.

For the Tropical Abstraction exhibition, works have been selected that are concerned with the translation of something abstract, like a culture or a place, into a word or an image, and which furthermore make it clear that there is no one established translation. By avoiding works which are superficially ‘tropical’, the exhibition attempts to escape the critiques of the term ‘tropicalism’. This exhibition in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam runs through August 25, 2005. The exhibition was assembled by guest curator Roos Gortzak.

More information at www.smba.nl