Liliana Porter: Other Situations at El Museo del Barrio
Museo del Barrio, located in East Harlem in New York City, is currently displaying Argentinian artist Liliana Porter’s Other Situations till March 3rd of this year. Porter’s mediums include printmaking, painting, drawing, photography, video, installation, and most recently performance.
Curated by Humberto Moro and organized by SCAD Museum of Art, Other Situations is a non-sequential study of Porter’s pieces ranging from 1973 to 2018, which play with the sometimes-blurry line between reality and fiction, and the manner in which images are received and circulated. As a non-linear recollection of her memories through art, the Argentinian artist has several pieces to showcase to Museo del Barrio, after 25 years of not having a solo exhibition.
Porter’s most recent work, Forced Labor series, is a contestation to capitalism through the use of miniature figurines to describe the harsh reality of labor, exploitation, and self-awareness. Porter magnifies the amount of physical and/or emotional labor that the neo-capitalist beings have to face everyday as a means to ‘feel that they contribute to society’ by playing with miniature figures and creating grotesque amounts of work for these tiny little creatures. These pieces are highly featured in the exhibition, as it is one of the most uncompromising works from the artist.
Other Situations also feature a photograph series taken during the 1970’s that attempts to describe space and the human body. Moreover, Porter is also keen to show her thoughts on celebrityhood through representation, politics, and spectacle by using cultural characters such as Che Guevara, Jesus Christ, Benito Juárez, Mickey Mouse, and Elvis Presley throughout her body of work.
As a multidisciplinary artist, Porter collaborates with Uruguayan artist Ana Tiscornia to present a scripted theatrical piece to be acknowledged as a component of Other Situations. The performance was presented at one of the most prestigious and avant-garde spaces in the world, The Kitchen that is located in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan.
In an interview with online magazine Arte por Excelencia, Porter mentions how Latin American art and artists of Hispanic descent are still perceived as “The Other” in the United States, specifically in New York City, which is supposed to be a progressive and radical place for art. Regardless, Porter maintains also mentions how she doesn’t care, as long as her work is being showcased.