As a comprehensive project, Verboamérica encompasses all areas of the museum. A 380-page catalogue with Spanish and English editions will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. The catalogue includes a glossary of key terms tied to the works in the collection and to the broader artistic, social, and cultural experience of Latin America.
The book contains as well the curatorial essays “Open History, Multiuple Time. A New Turn on the MALBA Collection” by Agustín Pérez Rubio and “All the Parts of the World” by Andrea Giunta. It also includes an exhaustive analysis of the exhibition’s eight clusters and reproductions of all of the works on exhibit, as well as other key works of Latin American art, whether in the collection or not.
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. “It recognizes the works and concepts that structured the European avant-gardes to then swallow them up and add local ingredients (terms). A crucial component of the project is, for us, the power of language to create realities and to construct worlds—and not only in order to represent them: anthropophagic and speaking America,” Pérez Rubio explains.
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 in the glossary 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 http://www.glosario.malba.org.ar/en. 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.
Research and Cataloguing
Verboamérica also brings together the research and exhaustive cataloguing of the collection’s contents that has been in process under the auspice of the museum’s Curatorial Department for the last two years. A team of eminent researchers in the field of Latin American art was put together and assigned, according to area of expertise, the task of compiling thorough technical information and of writing academic texts on each of the works in the collection, in order to re-write its history.
On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the museum’s founding, the first part of this ongoing research project will be launched at MALBA’s website; specifically, technical information on some one hundred and eighty works in the collection will be uploaded. The aim of this digital archive accessible to the community at large is to complement the files on each of the pieces in the museum and to include new documentary material and references from recent bibliography and research on the works in the collection.
The wealth of knowledge on the works, compiled thanks to this project, has proven extremely helpful to preparing the show
As part of the initiatives of the museum’s Education and Outreach Departments, audio guides that explore the exhibition’s eight thematic clusters with a focus on twenty-five works central to the collection on exhibit in Verboamérica can be downloaded free of charge.
International Seminar “De-classifying the Canon: New Models for the Collection and Exhibition of Latin American Art”
Saturday, September 17, 10AM-6PM
The seminar makes available to the public the ideas, debates, and public projects both in Latin American and beyond that are devising new perspectives on how to collect and to exhibit Latin American art. The voices of a prestigious group of curators, museum directors, theorists, and artists will address recent transformations in public collections in Latin America and the challenges they face. The seminar’s guests are Tanya Barson (curator at the Tate Modern and curator-in-chief of Macba, Barcelona), Catherine David (curator of Documenta X, Kassel, and Deputy Director of the Pompidou in Paris), Ticio Escobar (director of the Visual Arts Center, Museo del Barro, Asunción, Paraguay), Andrea Giunta (professor of Latin American Art at the Universidad de Buenos Aires), Victoria Giraudo (executive coordinator of MALBA’s Curatorial Department), Magdalena Jitrik (Argentine artist), Inés Katzenstein (director of the Art Department of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella), Natalia Majluf (director of the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Peru), Laura Malosetti (coordinator of the Instituto de Investigaciones sobre el Patrimonio Cultural - TAREA, Universidad Nacional de San Martín), Ramiro Martínez (executive director of the Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico), Ivo Mesquita (former director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brazil), Lucrecia Palacios (coordinator of MALBA’s Public Programs), Marcelo Pombo (Argentine artists), Diana Weschler (director of the Master’s Program in Curatorial Studies at UNTREF), and Octavio Zaya (freelance curator, co-curator of Documenta XI).