Author Archives: giulianaborea

Overcoming a Dispute: Museo de Arte de Lima, MAC-Lima and Fernando de Szyszlo’s Exhibition

The promotion of the arts and, particularly, of modern and contemporary art has been in private hands. Historically, two private institutions, founded in the 1950s, have promoted Peruvian (“fine”) art: The Patronato de las Artes that leads the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), and the Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo (IAC). Many of their members belong to both Institutions and they comprise a large part of Lima’s elite group. The aims of these institutions were not in tension until the ends of 1990s, when controversies between members of both institutions regarding the management of contemporary art started.

Borea - Peru - MAC-Lima's bulletin - July 25th 2011

Opening of the first stage: Minister of Culture Juan Ossio, IAC's President George Gruenberg, President Alan Garcia, Minister of Production Mercedes Araoz, MAC-Lima's director Alvaro Roca-Rey

In 2001, the IAC initiated the construction of its long standing Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (now MAC-Lima). This project has been interrupted several times due to the struggles between the managerial group, and the neighborhood and local government. However, with the new political party in the district hall and the new impulse of contemporary art in the city, the museum’s construction has resumed and it seems that now the Museum will be finished (see image 1).

The specific interest of the Museo de Arte de Lima in the contemporary art, started in 2005, when young members of the Patronato de las Artes took the leadership. They have redirected the Museum’s attention to contemporary art. The following excerpts of interviews with Fernando de Szyszlo, the most prestigious Peruvian abstract artist, member of the IAC and ex-member of the Patronato de la Artes, and with Natalia Majluf, director of the Museo de Arte de Lima, give insight into this debate. Continue reading

Reinforcing the Cultural Sector in the Public Administration: Integration through Culture

Culture had not been an important axis in the Peruvian public administration, neither in the central government nor in the district halls. In the public administration, culture generally has been part of the touristic or educational sector. Only in 2010, it was created the Ministry of Culture. Previously the National Institute of Culture depended on the Ministry of Education. In this same direction, the current government of Susana Villaran is reinforcing the cultural area of Lima´s Municipality.

Borrea - Peru - Cultura Viva poster


On June 19th, Lima’s City Hall launched its program “Cultura Viva para la Nueva Lima”. In an interview with Victor Vich, consultant of Lima’s Municipality, he explained me the new perspective of the local government and this particular project. Vich points out two main problems. First, Lima’s cultural scenario is fragmented. One district hall does not know what the other does. Second, for long time culture has been reduced to a schedule of activities. Therefore, “Cultura Viva” is a program that looks to reinforce the local production; create cultural networks by promoting the circulation of cultural proposals to other districts; and locate the cultural production and consumption as a citizen right.  For this program, five districts have been selected and local promoters have worked together to discuss the project. The multiple proposals and activities take place for three Sundays in each district with a final big event (see poster at left).

Borrea - Peru - Encuentro Nacional de Cultura


Finally, it is possible that this new place of culture in the city is due to a reinforcement of the cultural managerial sector and the multiple seminars that are taking place to create and improve cultural policies. In this regard, an important event is the next coming “Encuentro Nacional de Cultura.”

Posted by Giuliana Borea – PhD Candidate in Anthropology at NYU

Peruvian Geometric Art: Filling Gaps in Peruvian Art Narratives

Museo de Arte de Lima - Peru

Museo de Arte de Lima

In the last decade, what Mari Carmen Ramirez calls the Frida Kahlo’s Syndrome in the US towards Latin American art is breaking down to give place to other art tendencies and histories about Latin American Art. In this perspective, Exhibitions such as Inverted Utopias (2004) in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and The Geometry of Hope (2007) have intended to relocate Latin American abstraction as an original movement in itself. While Constructive Spirit (2010), has stressed the links that have shaped both Latin American and American abstraction. However, in these exhibitions the participation of Peruvian artists have been very limited or none. Is this because in Peru geometric art was not an important art tendency? Or is it because the lack of a coherent and institutionalized art history had not allowed a visibilization of those works? I think it is the latter. However, in Peru things are changing to a more complete and encompass history of art.

First, in 2010, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Museo de Arte de San Marcos presented its enriched collection of contemporary art. This collection provides an important visual narrative that included different artists – from Lima and other regions- and from different tendencies. This gives referent to start an exhaustive research on the work of many of these artists. Second, the Museo de Arte de Lima has inaugurated this May 18th a compelling exhibition of the geometric artist Jorge Piqueras, called Jorge Piqueras: De la Estructura al Estillado. Una Geometria en Proceso 1952-59. This exhibition shows for the first time diverse material never seen before and opens up the arena for a broader exploration on Peruvian geometric art. With this the Museo de Arte de Lima, also responds to the international interest in Latin American abstract art, showing the Peruvian contribution. As the curators mention “Así, al documentar un periodo crucial en la obra de Piqueras esta muestra esboza también una importante aproximación al breve interludio del arte geométrico en Loma entre 1945 y 1955, sin duda un periodo crucial e injustamente olvidado de la historia plástica peruana del siglo XX”.

Posted by Giuliana Borea – PhD Candidate in Anthropology at NYU

Two Cases: Toward a New Cultural Representation of Lima City

G.Borea - Peru

Dario Escobar's piece "Sin Titulo" (Guatemala)

My main interest is to analyze the promotion and consumption of art in Lima in relation to the growth of the city. I consider that in the last ten years a shift in Lima’s, and Peru’s, cultural representation has been produced. In this scenario the art agents play a specific role in trying to locate the city as a node in the circulation of regional art.

When I arrived to Lima two particular aspects called my attention. First, the new design for the Peruvian motto (marca- pais) and the advertisement for its promotion, “Peru visits Peru”. It is the first time that Peru has a contemporary design where the archeological and Inca motifs are not the strongest references. At the same time, the originality of the advertisement has received a lot of good feedback by the audience and experts. In it, a group of famous Peruvian people go to a town in Nebraska called Peru, to teach them which are the rights and what they need to know as “Peruvians” and to enjoy as such (see below).

G. Borea- Peru

Exhibition: Miradas sin Coordenadas by 80m2 Art Galley

Second, for the first time in Lima several art galleries show also an international agenda. They are starting to include artists from other countries as part of their exhibitions. At the same time, the art space Miro Quesada Garland, one of the main important art platforms, and the art gallery 80m2 are having a decentralized politic by looking at the art production in other Peruvian regions.

Posted by Giuliana Borea – PhD Candidate in Anthropology at NYU