Víctor Vázquez’s “Pulguero”: Retrospective or Autobiography?


Jorge Rodríguez (El Vocero) reviews Víctor Vázquez’s exhibition “Pulguero” [Flea Market]—a retrospective exhibition that shows 30 years of the artist’s work. The exhibition opened on April 27, and will be on view until the end of October 2017, at Puerto Rico Museum of Art [Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR)] located at 299 De Diego Avenue in Santurce, Puerto Rico. This exhibition/installation was curated by MAPR’s Juan Carlos Quintero. Rodríguez writes:

The Puerto Rican Museum of Art (MAPR) exhibits a dialogue between retrospective and autobiography that compose the 109 works of Puerto Rican conceptual artist Víctor Vázquez, in the major installation entitled ‘El Pulguero’, which gathers three decades of his artistic work, where pictorial, archeological, allegorical, literary narratives of collective memory, migration, and other humanitarian and art currents converge and intersect.

On view at the Bertita and Guillermo L. Martínez Gallery and the R.J. Reynolds Gallery, the crux of the project seeks to reflect on constructions and narratives established from the perspective between image and word, in order to generate other new discourses and dialogues from the objects that are placed in dislocated spaces.


“You do not see a ball on a mattress as something normal, but rather two realities communicating in a space in which they are not supposed to be in dialogue. That space aims to generate another meaning, other constructions about what we know, what we are acquainted with, or what we are. What is seen in the whole proposal is the desire to establish a dialogue or a relationship between life and art, between something that is given—that converses—whether it is given or not; that was the intention. In this way, many people have been able to relate to the work despite the fact that when looking at it, other readings are generated. But, it is a relationship between art and life,” said the artist in an interview with El Vocero.

By making use of certain contemporary concepts, Vázquez intends to present an anthological overview of history, memory, and the body as a semantic map, so that one may begin to look at these narratives and see how, to some extent, they contradict one another.

Basically, that is the basis of trying to reflect around discourse, looking at those relationships between image and word and that common denominator, which could be the body. This is a work that is not linear. It is, in fact, a non-linear show.

“The point is to enter and relate to the work through a few clues and start building from there. It is a very open work. It is a retrospective show that includes 30 years of artistic production,” said Vázquez. [. . .]

“Pulguero,” says [MAPR’s Juan Carlos] Quintero, “is the place where we relive history, where we return to relate to the past, and where we wonder about the present. It is a locus of encounter and symbolic exchange, a space of infinite traces and paths, where what is seemingly disordered, in the measure in which we engage reflexively, takes form and meaning. This exhibition represents a unique opportunity to meet and / or rethink the symbolic imagery of our time from the privileged view of one of our most prestigious international artists.”

For full article (in Spanish), see http://www.elvocero.com/escenario/retrospectiva-o-autobiograf-a/article_14113ebc-6d93-11e7-ab0d-eb8a4e54ba90.html

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