Mosquera, Gerardo. “Islas infinitas: sobre arte, globalización y cultura.” In: Mundialización y periferias, 123-139. San Sebastián: Diputacio´n Foral de Guipuzcoa, 1998.
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In this piece, Cuban art critic Gerardo Mosquera opens up a broader discussion on globalization, not just as it pertains to the art world. Considering the issues around the circulation and production of global capital, Mosquera complicates the supposed harmonious heterogeneity that globalization produces, pointing to processes of exclusion, reduction and oversimplification of identity that occur with neoliberal transnational practices. One example he uses in the piece is the changing figure of the artist. “The figure of the international installation artist, postmodern nomad who is displaced from international exhibition to international exhibition, bringing in their bag the elements of the future work or the tools to stage in situ. This figure, an allegory of the processes of globalization, represent a key rupture with the figure of the artisan-artist, linked to a specific workshop, where their art is crafted in order to be exported. The artist themselves is now exported.” According to Mosquera, this dynamism of globalization not disenfranchises the artists, but limits the scope of artistic circulation and production. Through this essay, Mosquera, in a detailed way, demystifies the notion that a globalized world ultimately equalizes access and interconnectedness. Instead, he points to how international diffusion largely functions as metaphor for hegemonic cultural and power dynamics.
In this essay, Gerardo Mosquera develops one of his many critiques on the concepts of authenticity, hybridity, and Latin American identity. This piece works through some of the aspects of globalization not related to art, such as internet access, demographic transformations, and the transformation of cultural exchange. Along these lines, he dissects changing modes of communication and their effect on the construction of high culture vs. low culture. Mosquera ultimately sees this work as both the calling and conviction of cultural critics and theorists alike.
This essay is one of the papers presented at the 6th Seminario Internacional de Ana´lisis de Tendencias held Sept. 8-12, 1997 by Arteleku in San Sebastia´n, Spain.
Gerardo Mosquera (b. 1945) is a Cuban curator, critic, and art historian whose work explores debates about art circulation and production in a globalized world. One of the original organizers of the first Havana Biennial in 1984, he also served as adjunct curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art from 1995 to 2009. He has published widely on modern and contemporary Latin American art and organized major museum exhibitions on topics, including Crisisss Latin America, Art and Confrontation, 1910–2010 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes and ExTeresa Arte Actual, Mexico City in 2011, and ¡Afuera! Arte en espacios públicos in Córdoba, Argentina in 2010.