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With a diverse collection of installations, paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, mixed media works, and works on paper, it is difficult to remember that the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative’s second phase, “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today” is just one exhibition. Approximately 50 contemporary works from 42 artists representing 15 countries were combined to address the past, present, and future of Latin America as it struggles with class divisions and ethnic differences.
The exhibition is divided into five themes to provide some sense of continuity among the multitude of works. Abstraction pieces examined the “rational, geometrical visual language” prominent in post-World War II histories. Works by Latin American conceptualists who were active in the United States in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are included in the exhibition’s Conceptualism theme.
Pieces such as Carlos Amorales‘ (Mexico City) We’ll See How Everything Reverberates (2012)—an enormous mobile of hanging cymbals, gongs, and other reverberating objects that viewers are encouraged to strike with a provided mallet — sits under the
Participation/Emancipation theme and requires physical or mental participation by the viewer.
Political Activism works depict the social and political context of art as a form of protest. Like Donna Conlon and Jonanthan Harker’s Drinking Song (2011) representing the clash of the United States and Panama. Conlon said she and Harker wanted to symbolically describe the idea that “national identity’s not real, it’s something that’s made.”
“Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today” is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York now through October 1. The exhibition will then travel to the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City.