by Mae Wiskin
Last week, a few fellow first year MA Design Studies students and I went to The Museum of Arts and Design to see their latest exhibit: New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America. We are all taking the same participatory curatorial design course with Professor Nitin Sawhney titled, “Co-Lab: Curatorial Design and Media Practices: Guatemala Después,” which is a weekly studio that explores the culture of curatorial practice with a particular focus on the subversive contemporary art scene in Guatemala. The focal point of the Co-Lab revolves around theGuatemala Despues project which critically reflects upon the political, economic and cultural influences between the U.S. and Guatemala through the multi-disciplinary lens of creative practitioners from both locations.
New Territories is a deftly designed exhibit that examines how the state of creating in today’s globalized society has inspired a convergence of art, design and craft, within several distinctive cities throughout Latin America, where some of the most influential directions in design are developing. It is a dynamic and thought-provoking exhibition and all of the pieces speak to various issues that are manifesting themselves in compelling ways within most parts of the region, from commodification and production, to urbanization, collective memory and sustainability. It’s an incredibly thoughtfully laid out display that also artfully blends craft, tradition, and new technological innovations. The exhibit’s strength lies in its subtle ability to transcend regionalism and national identity. New Territories will be at MAD until April 5th and is well worth a visit; its an ideal space to feel good lost.
Additional information about Guatemala Despues and its joint exhbitions and public programming can be found at the following link:
(New York City (Sheila Johnson Design Center) from April 9-29, 2015 & Ciudad de la Imaginación in Quetzaltenango in June 2015)