Under the Same Sun

2016-7-6

This exhibition at the South London Gallery, subtitled Art from Latin America Today actually reaches as far back as the 1970s. This is quite a long 'today,' and one hopes that the curator is making a point about how little things have changed in Latin America. I don't know if this is the case but some of the artworks certainly point in that direction. For example, Evidence of a Farce by Carla Zaccagnini presents covers of two magazines, Time and The Economist, several years apart evidencing similar visual hyperbole. There is also a piece by Carlos Motta, Brief History of US Interventions in Latin America Since 1946 which stretches 'today' even further.

The other theme of the exhibition is the United States, the country under the same sun as Latin America (Canada receiving no sun for 10 months of the year). So, we have a video the Star-Spangled Banner played on Latin American beer bottles, a daredevil shot across the US-Mexico border like a cannonball, a structure made of tortillas, and so on. Frankly, it's a bit weird. For example, for Statue of Liberty Covered in Hamburgers, Marta Minujín wrote to McDonalds asking for funding to cover a replica of the Statue of Liberty in flamethrower cooked burgers. Now, if a New Yorker asking to build the pyramids of Teotihuacan out of burritos is an obvious idiocy, then maybe we are not under the same sun after all; I wonder if poking fun at the idea of liberty is both divisive and counter productive. What makes the piece work is the included response from McDonalds, which completely fails to address the nature of the work proposed.

Another work I enjoyed was Homeless Lamp by Iván Navarro, a video piece in which he wanders New York trying to plug in a shopping cart with lots of fluorescent lamps attached. It's quite beautiful and haunts as well.

Under the Same Sun runs at the South London Gallery until the 4th of September, 2016. They have a blog about it.


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