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.
This article written by Puerto Rican anthropologist Arlene Dávila, analyzes the debate over El Museo del Barrio’s change in mission from a grassroots organization concerned with the empowerment of Puerto Ricans to a museum of Latin American art. Besides reflecting demographic changes in the home community of El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, New York City, Dávila sees this change as connected to a larger nationalist dynamics sustained by the multiculturalist discourse that served as a backdrop for the 1980s Latin American art boom and to the economics sustaining it.
This article offers a detailed analysis of the different dynamics at play in establishing Latin American art as a curatorial and marketing category, and exposes this seemingly pan-ethnic concept as one that veils differences in the valuation of the artists of different countries and cultures. Other points that Dávila brings up are the interest and appreciation of certain Latin American national art schools/traditions over others, as tied to economics of the region, to the backing of the auction house market by national elites, and to the sponsorship of museum exhibitions by state agencies and national companies.