Museographic Imaginaries: Geopolitics of Global Art in the Era of the Expanded Internationalism

By Joaquin Barriendos.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article attempts to assess the capabilities of the current art museum to really decolonize the aesthetic hierarchies modern geopolitics inseminated within global museographic imaginaries. By considering the inherent contradictions of the so-called new internationalism as well as those of the new regional interplays that appeared in the early 1990s, I will describe the way in which some art museums and some international bodies have been actively attempting to rewrite the geopolitical designs produced by the modern/colonial museum. In my view, the geopolitical revisionism adopted by some progressive art museums has consisted in a criticism of the legitimacy of the historical geography of the modern art that, paradoxically, has reinforced the museographic imaginaries which provide support for the universalistic discourses and the westernized uses of the global art concept. Through the examination of the case of the market-led reinvention of Latin America as a strategic region for global contemporary art exchanges, I will argue that what was previously considered a set of stereotypical representations regarding the peripheral, or non-western geographies, began to be used as a new kind of geoaesthetic asset after the rise of the new internationalism.

Keywords: Museographic Imaginaries, Geopolitics, Global Art, Latin America, Cultural Regionalism, CIMAM-ICOM

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.189-202. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.169MB).

Joaquin Barriendos

Fellow-Scholar, Program in Museum Studies, New York University, New York, USA

Is Visiting Professor in the Art History Department of the University of Barcelona and currently Visiting Researcher at the New York University (Program in Museum Studies). In 2008 he co-founded the platform Global Visual Cultures, an open forum for theoretical and interdisciplinary-led research in visual studies and globalism. He co-ordinates the Research Group on Art, Globalization, and Interculturality. He is part of the Latin American network Conceptualismos del Sur, where he conducts a platform entitled Archives/Museums/Modernities. He also co-ordinates the research project Tristestópicos which focuses on the cultural imaginaries of Latin America. He was Assistant Editor of the Spanisharea, of the webjournal Transversal, which focuses primarily on the relation between art institutions and the critique thereof—one aspect of the work of the EIPCP, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies. He is also independent curator, art critic and publisher. He was Assistant Editor of the Spanish review Brumaria, the focal point of which is contemporary aesthetic and political practices. He has collaborated with several contemporary art museums and has been invited to curate exhibitions and to lecture in different venues and universities worldwide. He specializes in contemporary art, cultural economy, cross-cultural visuality, modern geopolitical thinking, ethnography of cultural institutions, Latin American and global art.

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