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Latino resistance seizes LA

The Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will offer exhibitions for four months
"Tonatiuh in the Garden" by Óscar Castillo – Photo courtesy of PACIFIC STANDARD TIME:LA/LA
Abida Ventura
Los Angeles
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Latin American art will invade the museums, galleries, and public spaces of Los Angeles starting this week, in a celebration which just might to become a defense court for Latino immigrants and the rejection of the immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

For four months, close to 70 art and cultural institutions of south of California – the American state with the largest Latino community – will host several artistic exhibitions and proposals from Latin American artists and the Chicano community, organized by the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an initiative in which the Getty Foundation has invested 16 millions of dollars in subsidies and that began preparations four years ago in order to find a dialogue between the art of these two opposing territories, but that under the current political environment in the U.S., will offer new interpretations and reflections.

“The project began several years ago, way before the current political situation, and it's been almost a coincidence, because it's just the right time given the current needs of the Latino and Chicano communities – and I count myself among them – to become familiar with our history and culture through art,” claims Selene Preciado, assistant of the program with the Getty Foundation and Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, which will officially launch on September 14 with the opening of several exhibits and activities in Los Angeles.

The program for this event dedicated to Latin American art will cover the Precolumbian and New Spain art periods, all the way to Conceptual and Modern art, proposals that will allow the audience to reflect on the history and the problems the Latino community faced in the past – which are not so distant to us now. “There are several exhibitions of artists who worked in Mexico during the 90's and talk about the political situation of the country back then; there are others which take place in the 80's or the 70's, during the dictatorships in Chile or Argentina, works that were created under oppressive systems that, obviously, will strongly resonate with people today,” says Preciado.

In this vast program, close to 30 Mexican artists will participate, while 15 exhibitions will be focused on Mexico and its current issues. Among them, The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility is one of the most expected ones, and will be seen at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

“It's a review of a current topic of mutual interest,” says the curator Ana Elena Mallet, who adds that given recent events, the exhibition will become a “space for reflection and resistance to the current situation.”

“I think the entire Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a celebration of the dialogues and exchanges between Latin America – especially Mexico – and the U.S. over the decades. This is the living proof that it doesn't matter who's in charge, our exchanges continue enriching the social and cultural visage of the continent,” said Mallet, who, together with Lowrey Simms, has selected the pieces to be displayed this week at the museum. “Our exhibition is a celebration of the immigration of ideas, images and cultures that in spite of it all, will continue happening,” she says.


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