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Auckland Art Gallery
Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand
7 May - 18 September 2016
There must not be North for us, except in opposition to our South. Therefore, we now turn the map upside down, and then we have a true idea of our position, and not as the rest of the world wishes. The point of America, from now on, forever, insistently points to the South, our North. – Joaquín Torres García
Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America is the first comprehensive exhibition of its kind to be generated in Australasia. It is co-curated by Chilean Curator Beatriz Bustos Oyanedel and Auckland Art Gallery’s Principal Curator Dr Zara Stanhope and exhibits works from the 1960s to today.
The work of 41 artists and collectives from across South America suggests how artists see a social significance for their work and how as rebels and revolutionaries, dreamers and poets, they have challenged, embraced, explained or transformed their realities, lives, cultures and spaces.
Space and dream are the abstract and ambiguous words chosen to name the journey that this exhibition proposes. Presenting some of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America explores the rich diversity, innovation and significance of art from this region. Key figures from the late 1960s and 70s, whose influence has been important, are introduced alongside a younger generation of artists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Their works present different ways in which South America is a space in constant redefinition, a continent whose culture reflects the diversity of societies and peoples, histories and traditions, varying languages, customs and cultural values.
Beginning from the position that art in South America is broadly rooted across ideas and forms, the works inSpace to Dream are collected under a number of themes: poetic sensibility, revolution and resistance, origins and intersections, memories and fractured histories, art’s ability to generate social consciousness and new, unthought-of possibilities. Notes on these themes appear throughout the exhibition as prompts to connect works with these ideas.
Whether conveying politics or poetry, the spiritual or the profane, art in recent decades in South America has been meaningful for offering generative spaces for reflection. Art taking a critical stance, encouraging social consciousness or documenting past revolutionary actions all signal the power to produce individual and collective agency. As well, the playful attitude of certain artists engenders insightful, embodied and non-hierarchical notions of culture. The mingling of indigenous and other cultures is expressed in ways that gives histories a currency. Other artists create innovative, inviting spaces in which can be imagined futures yet to come.
This is a space to dream, where disaster coexists with complex cultures and dynamic societies, in which art creates the exploratory and poetic face of this Southern territory.
(From press information)
Olivia Boswell, Communications Officer
M: +64 21 952 759