The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Written by Puerto Rican anthropologist Arlene Dávila, this article analyzes the reasons for the still subordinated position of Latin culture in New York’s artistic and cultural landscape, despite the relative popularity of Latin American art since the 1980s. Dávila argues that the cultural initiatives carried out by social groups like the Nuyorican community in the late 1960s and early ‘70s contributed to an expansion of images of Latinidad [Latin-ness] Nevertheless, in the early years, these groups did not transform the framework of recognition that affected their evaluation. It was due to the “transformation from grassroots efforts to institutionalized structures, and from a primarily Puerto Rican to a Pan-Latino orientation” that provided a wider representation of a Latinidad as such. Despite these changes, however, Latin culture was never able to subvert its subordinate status, which Dávila traces to both the politics of multiculturalism and the field of art production that frames Latino art from the outset.
This essay provides an excellent analysis on the origins and development of the 1969 Nuyorican-founded Taller Boricua [Puerto Rican Workshop] and El Museo del Barrio, examining the impact of factors like demographic changes, funding sources, and the development of Latin American art as an academic, curatorial, and marketing category. It also unveils the asymmetry found within the field of Latin American art itself, in which the work of either colonized or diasporic artists (Puerto Ricans and United States Latinos) is still marginalized in comparison to that of artists from some of the other Latin American republics.