Saturday, January 5, 2013


Detail of Death by Tupperware (2005) by Daniela Edburg

Although I love going to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, sometimes their way of presenting the permanent collection baffles me. The curation seems a bit arbitrary or disconnected to the actual premise of the artwork on view. Since their collection is really impressive, this seems to be a lost opportunity to educate museum visitors as to the actual context or intent of the works displayed.

For instance, their current exhibition is LOTERIA: An Interpretation of MOLAA's Permanent Collection, in which various artworks have been selected to represent certain cards from the game, Loteria, a Mexican game of chance, like Bingo. This is an interesting approach; after all, if one can build a show around landscapes, still life, portraiture, or era, then why not organize based on game iconography? The problem is that the works have no inherent connection to gaming or game symbolism.

Nevertheless, the art in this exhibit is really good. Yeah, the curatorial approach seems scattershot, but the end result is enjoyable. Although organized as representing Loteria cards, this conceptual framework doesn't detract from appreciation of the pieces themselves. And, to be honest, this arrangement is no more arbitrary than setting them up on the wall in accordance with date of production or the letter of the artist's last name.

Detail of Citzij (2006) by Veronica Riedel

So, if there's no harm, then there's no foul. It doesn't really matter if a work is arranged as representative of The Crown or The Drunk or The Moon. As long as the art is accessible, then the curation has done its job.

So, I recommend this exhibit, which runs until April 14, 2013. Don't miss it!!!

A gallery view of MOLAA's Loteria exhibit.

And here are a few videos from the show.

Clown Falling Down (2008) by Oscar Cueto

Mick (2008) bu Gustavo Tabares


No comments:

Post a Comment