Marina Reyes Franco 2017
“Curators in Residence” grant scheme organised by KfW Stiftung in collaboration with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa)
Marina Reyes Franco (born 1984 in San Juan/Puerto Rico, where she lives and works) is an art historian and independent curator. She received a BA in Art History from the University of Puerto Rico and a MA in Argentine and Latin American Art History at the Universidad Nacional de San Martin - Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales (IDAES-UNSAM). She is the co-founder and former director of La Ene, Nuevo Museu Energía de Arte Contemporáneo, a museum for contemporary art in Buenos Aires. A selection of recent projects include: "Procession Migration," a Papo Colo performance in the tropical forest, co-curated with Klaus Biesenbach, Armig Santos and Tiffany Zabludowicz, and organized with the support of MoMA PS1 (2017); The 2nd Grand Tropical Biennial, co-curated with Pablo León de la Barra, Stefan Benchoam and Radamés "Juni" Figueroa (2016); "A Summer in Puerta de Tierra," an exhibition and day outing in a San Juan neighborhood in response to the policies of population displacement and tourism focus in the area (2015); "Calibán", a selection of Puerto Rican contemporary artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan (2014) and "Sucursal" at the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires, co-curated with Gala Berger, Sofía Dourron and Santiago Villanueva.
During her three-month residency at ifa Marina Reyes Franco develops an exhibition within the framework of the research and exhibition programme „Untie to Tie – On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies“.
Exhibition „Watch your Step / Mind your Head“
Curated by Marina Reyes Franco
With works by Irene de Andrés und Sofía Gallisá Muriente
23 June to 17 September 2017
Opening 22 June 2017, 7pm
Watch your step / Mind your head
Irene de Andrés and Sofía Gallisá Muriente present a selection of works developed in close conversation between 2015 and 2017 that ponder the question of who constructs the concept of paradise and who consumes it the most, as experienced from the Caribbean nation of Puerto Rico. A former Spanish colony, Puerto Rico is a Caribbean 'possession' of the United States since 1898. Once a beacon of American progress, Puerto Rico has experienced decades of progressive economic collapse, and is currently $123 billion dollars in debt. Since September 2016, a US-appointed fiscal control board has supervised the imposition of severe austerity measures, while at the same time favoring tax haven laws and the 'visitor economy' as a way out of the depression.
Within this context, Irene de Andrés and Sofía Gallisá Muriente work in tandem to question how cultural differences are marketed within the new colonial relationship that the tourism industry embodies. The artists work in photography, print, installation and video formats, remixing original and sourced materials that include photographs, short documentaries, propaganda, and vacation videos from various official and personal archives, as well as the internet. Taking a cue from contemporary urban culture, the artists have collaborated in their videos with a local musician and a DJ to construct alternate soundscapes to the usual tropical narratives.
In their pieces, both artists take a look at the post military landscape of abandoned US Navy bases, monuments, advertisement campaigns, mid-20th century industrialization, and hotel construction. This exhibition has come together because of the artists’ common interest in examining and contesting the visual economy of tourism and the representation of the Caribbean as constructed for tourists and investors. Through different strategies and methodologies, both artists question the narratives, images and tropes preserved in archives and other state propaganda, in order to expose the mechanisms that perpetuate them. These works strive to rid themselves of the colonizing gaze; these works are aware of how they’re looked at.