INSITE: Four rehearsals on that which is public —another scenario

03.29.2014 - 06.29.2014

03.29.2014 - 06.29.2014


La Tallera


Lucía Sanromán

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This exhibition investigates the artistic, curatorial and discursive strategies of four editions, offering the possibility of new interpretations of the artworks presented. inSite 1994 was a multi-venue exhibition of site-specific and installation art that served to unmask the temporal makeup of a place through the presentation of political artworks that made visible historical narratives occluded deep within a territory. Three years later, inSite 1997 reflected upon the previous edition and focused fully on the complexities of “public space” as a concept, particularly as this defines individual identity in the hybrid and constantly mutating context of the border. Events, participatory processes, and the exchange between artists and groups in specific communities informed temporal and object-based commissions in the 2000-2001 edition. inSite 2005 inserted itself fully in the fluid and situational negotiations that constitute the social and ideological foundations of a place. By fostering engagement, co-production, participation, and process over object, for twenty years curators and artists infiltrated the political construction of public discourse and create new collective imaginaries.

It is especially difficult to do a retrospective of a project of commissioned artworks that almost without exception looked at the coordinates of a precise location and time for their completion. Selected from more than 200 works created over twenty-two years, the 18 installation, photography, and video works in this exhibition were either originally made for exhibition formats or their paper and video documentation had already been adapted by the authors to that end. In addition, Eduardo Abaroa, Anya Gallaccio, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Marcos Ramírez ERRE have been invited to create new works as reinterpretations of their original site-specific pieces, revisiting them for this stage at La Tallera and the context of a public institution.

La Tallera’s history commits it to the study of public art and to its sociopolitical and cultural context; therefore, this presentation of inSite is particularly relevant at this moment of institutional renewal. By referencing in our title the essayistic quality of each edition, it is possible to be faithful to inSite, while also opening up to new readings, and new enactments by new publics. In this regard, it serves us well to remember the spirit of Augusto Boal, for whom a performance is more than a staging of group catharsis or symbolic ritual; it is rather an invitation to action in real space and time. This exhibition invites audiences to learn about this important project, and to reflect on the social and political questions that conform our public life today.

— Lucia Sanromán