Launch—The Museum of the Old Colony: An Art Installation by Pablo Delano

The Museum of the Old Colony: An Art Installation by Pablo Delano (University of Virginia Press, 2023)—edited by Laura Katzman (and previously announced as forthcoming)—is “hot off the press!” To introduce and celebrate this publication, the Center for Caribbean Studies at Trinity College is hosting a book launch on February 16, 2023, at 12:15pm (EST). The launch takes place at the Dangremond Room, Hallden Hall, Trinity College (in Hartford, Connecticut) with the participation of the editor and essayists: Laura Katzman, Ángel García, Amanda J. Guzmán, Beth Hinderliter, Laura Roulet, and César A. Salgado.

Arcadio Díaz Quiñones (Princeton University) writes, “Pablo Delano is a powerful artist-witness, fully aware of the extraordinary potential of anticolonial art. He is committed to showing a more complex way of seeing the ‘Old Colony,’ with the many blind spots in the historical memory of racism and ‘civilizing missions,’ and the burden of colonial status still haunting Puerto Rican life.”

Description: The Museum of the Old Colony is an ongoing conceptual art installation by visual artist Pablo Delano (b. 1954) that addresses the complex history of his native Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War (1898), when the Caribbean archipelago was seized by the United States from Spain as a “possession.” Appropriating archival photographs, film footage, and popular artifacts that Delano collects and “curates” for his performative museum, the installation provocatively critiques the stereotypes and entrenched misperceptions of Puerto Rico disseminated in mainstream media over a century. The work thus speaks to the relationship between U.S. imperial power and the island-nation, and to the lasting and devastating legacies of colonial rule. With dry wit and sardonic humor, The Museum of the Old Colony equally illuminates the power of images to inculcate cultural values and the authority of museums to confer meaning on the objects that such trusted institutions have acquired and displayed.

This catalog is the companion volume to the latest iteration of Delano’s installation, at James Madison University’s Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art. With essays by editor Laura Katzman and distinguished scholars Amanda J. Guzmán (Trinity College); Laura Roulet (independent curator); and César A. Salgado (University of Texas, Austin), the publication examines Delano’s ever-evolving project from historical, anthropological, cultural, literary, and museological perspectives. This richly illustrated volume features a foreword by Marianne Ramírez Aponte (Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico) and an afterword by Beth Hinderliter (James Madison University).

For purchasing information, see https://www.upress.virginia.edu/title/5885/

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