From this month until January of next year, exhibitions of Latinx artists will be all over the City of Stars
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is an initiative that “Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions, [PST] will present a wide variety of important works of art, much of them new to Southern California audiences”, as stated on their website. The exhibitions range from modern and contemporary art, to colonial and pre-columbian pieces. The entire circuit of exhibitions will allow visitors to experience a wide scope of Latin American art.
All types of art have a space in the series of exhibitions: from photography, to paintings, to sculpture, to installation and performative works. Some of them have a strong political message, and are thought of by critics as works of artistic activism. One of the main goals of the PST: LA/LA initiative is to allow different voices and different opinions to be heard in sceneries where they have traditionally been ignored. In fact, one of the slogans of the initiative is “There will be differing opinions. There will be art”, words that vibrantly spread over the screen when visiting the homepage of their website.
The exhibitions feature artists from all over the Latin American continent. Some are specifically dedicated to a particular country and a particular line of work, like “Prometheus 2017: Four Artists from Mexico Revisit Orozco”, which is currently being held in the Pomona College Museum of Art, or “Photography in Argentina, 1850–2010: Contradiction and Continuity”, which can be found in the Getty Center. Other exhibitions are curated based more on a specific genre or message, such as “Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas”, at the Otis College of Art and Design, or “A Universal History of Infamy”, at LACMA. Both of these exhibitions take complex, abstract premises and represent them through the work of different Latinx artists. Urban art also has a place in the series of exhibitions, with “¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege”, which can be found in LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Mexican American museum.
The initiative does not intend to stay within museum walls, or to favor a particular form of art over others. For this reason, events like concerts and performances will be held as well as the more traditional art exhibitions.
There has also been an intention from the curators of the exhibitions to look for works that have, at some point, been censored in the artist’s home country. Pieces like murals, photography series, and videos from countries like Mexico and Cuba, make part of these works that have a political message strong enough to have been forbidden to the public. Thus, the initiative brings visibility to art that has intentionally been silenced, and not only to pieces people may not have seen because of lack of exposure.
The efforts of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA team indicate that the Latino community is a big cultural part of the United States and the world. With a strong political tone, one cannot help but to see the series of exhibitions as a statement against the discourse of the Trump administration in terms of Latino immigrants, particularly Mexicans. For four months, Los Angeles will be submerged in Latino culture like it has not been before.
Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda