Art and newsprint: Periódicos de Ayer exhibition at MAMU
Periódicos de Ayer – Diaries of Yesterday – is the latest exhibition to open at the Miguel Urrutia Museum of Art (MAMU) in Bogotá. Curated by María Wills and Alexis Fabry, the exhibition examines how the contemporary works of Latin American artists were inspired by newspaper production, from raw materials used in printing presses to letterpress, photography, advertisements and the final texts.
The death of the newspaper as a consumer necessity was predicted long before the advent of the digital age and social media platforms. While newspapers, for many, remain an essential and reliable source of news and other editorial content, the exhibition, from the viewer’s point of view, “resists”, as curators claim, the extinction of the media. ‘a modern form of communication.
There is a quote – on one of the walls – from Puerto Rican singer Héctor Lavoe (1946 – 1993) that says: “Why read a newspaper from yesterday that no one else is trying to read; sensational when it came at dawn, at noon and confirmed news, and in the afternoon, a forgotten affair. Those lines from Ayer’s 1976 salsa classic Periódico became more acute with the pandemic, conservatives say, given the tactile adversity over contagion.
The exhibition of the Banco de la República (Central Bank), and entity that owns the largest public library in the country, Luis Ángel Arango, features pages from national newspapers, among which El Espectador, El Tiempo, El País, El Heraldo , El Diario del Caribe, El Espacio, Vanguardia Liberal, and how they have been used as canvases to convey debate and discourse on a wide range of issues. From Pop Art collages to cutouts, newspapers from the second half of the 20th century have become the tools and starting points for the works of Latin American artists such as Edgar Álvarez, Lourdes Grobet, Beatriz González, Sady González, Juan David Laserna, José Trinidad Romero, Carlos Aguirre.
Drawing on the political and social discontent of the sixties and seventies, Latin American artists produced counter-narratives to challenge societal norms, existing class structures, and military repression across the continent. Many of the artistic propositions that emerged during these decades of economic and political change were not considered worthy of being exhibited in a museum, until MAMU.
Among the Colombian artists featured are Álvaro Barrios who published his prints in two regional newspapers El Heraldo and Diario del Caribe de Barranquilla, Juan David Laserna with his series of paintings on digital black and white prints and Alicia Barney who adorned the pages of newspapers highlighting the importance of biodiversity and ecological art.
Three others – Beatriz González Edgar Álvarez, Viki Ospina – are also present due to their influence on the development of editorial design and news photography.
The exhibition is open until December 31, 2021.
Open Monday to Saturday (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Miguel Urrutia Art Museum (MAMU)
Calle 11 n ° 4-21