In his famous study The Raw and the Cooked (1964) the Belgian anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss develops an anthropological study about the confrontation between advanced and primitive societies through a summary of concepts of culinary culture - on the degree of the complexity in their food - the conclusions of which he extrapolates to a general plan that allows him to state the inevitable tendency of Western societies in the first world to define their identity by comparing themselves to the other, a phenomenon that is not reciprocal. The exhibition curator, Dan Cameron, intends to submit this idea to criticism, offering an alternative -he begins by inverting the terms in the title- and, through the work of fifty-four artists, he highlights how colonialism, in the field of artistic production and within the emerging trends of the Nineties, is based on the exchange of multiple cultural positions. That is, Cameron aims to include art in the debate on cultural identity, to do this, he brings together works in which dehierarchises the speaker's viewpoint and breaks the theoretical and artistic bipolarity that is dominant in the U.S. and Europe.
One of the key ideas of the exhibition is the fact that artists think globally while they work with local materials and ideas (political and social or identity and race issues). In this way, the main themes in the projects presented are: anthropological resonances, (Victoria Civera, Doris Salcedo); cultural myths (Yasumasa Morimura, KCHO); the body as a landscape (Geneviève Cadieux), or as currency and transaction (Marlene Dumas, Marcel Odenbach, Keith Piper); the exploration and relevance of forbidden imagery (Afrika); money as a support of social values (Jean-Baptiste Ngnetchopa) or issues of exile and migration. The participation of artists with an African-American heritage is powerful, as well as those others whose origins lie in countries not traditionally considered first-ranking cultures: Congo, Zaire, Cameroon or Laos. In this case, we see that their work has a bearing on the construction of a "stylistic identity which in turn implies a process of fictionalising the version received from history," according to Cameron, in which they are passive actors (Faith Ringgold, Fred Wilson).
The exhibition reveals the existence of a critical paradigm with history (violating the form or the agreement of the significant meanings, as noted by the work of Juan Luis Moraza) and also addressed to cultural institutions through the criticism of social meta-structures (as is the case with architects, urban planners and sculptors Mark Dion, Bodys Isek Kingelez and Tatsuo Miyajima). At other times, it is the exploration of art as a cultural artistic system (Igor y Svetlana Kopystiansky).
The concept of mapping - both in the geographical and bodily sense - is of special relevance to the extent that it refers literally and conceptually to actions on territories (real, symbolic or metaphoric), their modification, creation of myths, systematisation and configuration. Its purpose, therefore, is to vindicate the aesthetic minority and highlight problems of global nature developed in postcolonial culture.
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications
12 April – 8 September, 2019
Self-portrait of Other
3 April – 26 August 2019
Rogelio López Cuenca
Keep Reading, Giving Rise
28 March – 8 September, 2019
27 February – 13 May, 2019
20 February – 27 May, 2019
The Avant-garde Networks of Amauta:
Argentina, Mexico, and Peru in the 1920s
6 February – 6 May 2019
H. C. Westermann
5 December, 2018 - 25 November, 2019
The Poetics of Democracy
Images and Counter-Images from the Spanish Transition
21 November 2018 – 22 April 2019
Lost, Loose and Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris 1944-1968
31 October 2018 – 29 April 2019
Of Lunatics, or Those Lacking Sanity
From November 22, 2017
Cubism(s) and Experiences of Modernity
21 March – 24 May, 2019
Chile, First Laboratory of NeoliberalismBiblioteca y Centro de Documentación