‘Curating in the Tropics’

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A report from Trinidad’s Guardian.

“What are the implications of a tropical context for the work of curators? If, as celebrated Jamaican writer Olive Senior tells us: ‘Gardening in the Tropics, you never know what you’ll turn up. Quite often, bones,’ then what does it mean to care for art, to cultivate public displays of art, to curate art in the tropics?”

This question is at the heart of the second installment in the Articulate CARIBBEAN series. The series is a project of cultural researcher and former Sunday Arts Section writer Dr Marsha Pearce and Medulla Art Gallery.

“Articulate CARIBBEAN is a biannual public programme of presentations and conversations aimed at creating a space for expressing and debating crucial issues in visual culture,” Medulla said in a press release on the event.

The talk, scheduled for September 12, puts a spotlight on the subject of curatorial practice with invited speaker Marina Reyes Franco, a contemporary art curator from Puerto Rico and recipient of the 2017 Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean.

Reyes Franco is undertaking curatorial research in Trinidad with the support of the CPPC and Independent Curators International. Her research includes an exploration of the idea of paradise and the effects of tourism on artistic practice and cultural production.

Under the title Curating in the Tropics, Reyes Franco will share curatorial projects of which she has been a part and she will reflect on curatorial work she has observed in various spaces.

Reyes Franco is co-founder and former director of La Ene, a museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her projects include Watch your step/Mind your head, ifa Galerie-Berlin (2017); The Second Grand Tropical Biennial, co-curated with Pablo León de la Barra, Stefan Benchoam and Radamés “Juni” Figueroa (2016); A Summer in Puerta de Tierra (2015); Calibán, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan (2014); and Sucursal, Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires, co-curated with Gala Berger, Sofía Dourron and Santiago Villanueva (2014). The CPPC award supports her visits to Trinidad, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Panama and the Bahamas for the purpose of conducting research related to art and cultural activities.

The event runs from 7-9 pm at Medulla, 37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook. It is free and open to the public

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