This lesson utilizes objects from the new 2014 exhibit, Permission to Be Global, with discussion questions relevant for Social Studies and Art classrooms.
Description: Permission to be Global/Practicas Globales, Latin American Art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, presents the work of several contemporary artists from across the Americas. As the first exhibit focusing on Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Permission to be Global promotes one of the exhibit's major themes, the role of Latin American artists on the global stage. In this exhibtion, each artist draws from his or her own cultural inspiration, yet uses this as a means to explore what it means to be global, and how globalization has affected the power dymanics and cultural exchanges between nations, developing increased diversity and opportunities yet also disparities and inequality. Addressing these various issues of globalization, the exhibition is organized into four themes - Power Parodied, Absence Accumulated, Occupied Geometries and Borders Redefined.
In Power Parodied, artists reflect on themes such as the struggling individual, power corrupted and how to save oneself, one's nation or even the entire world from this abused power. Additionally, artists reflect on clashes of power, including the political, military and cultural influence of the West on Latin American nations. Walking through Absence Accumulated, one gets a glimpse of Latin American histories that have been forgotten or repressed, such as the abuse of immigrant workers in detention centers here in the United States, or the memories of civil wars and oppression by dictatorships. Additionally, Absence Accumulated addresses how records and documentation, such as photographs or phonebooks, create an alternative physical presence for an individual, a buildup of paperwork that remains behind after death. In Occupied Geometries, artists examine how artworks occupy the space around us and how we interact with them, reflecting various movements such as Neo-Concrete art, a popular art movement in 1950s post-war Brazil, as the newly democratic government began embracing modernization and internationalism, and artists drew inspiration from the unversality of European abstraction. In Borders Redefined, artists reexamine artistic and political boundaries, experimenting with the boundary between the artwork and exhibition space, the visual and metaphorical connections within an artwork, and the political boundaries and international relations in Latin America.
Permission to be Global/Practicas Globales will be on view through July 13, 2014.
Learning Goals: In exploring this lesson students will...
- Be introduced to abstract contemporary art that uses familiar and foreign aesthetics that make the viewer observe such elements in novel ways.
- Discover how contemporary Latin American artists address their work in a global context; one that doesn't define their work solely by their geography.
- Discuss these objects in a manner that relates to the viewers' own personal viewing experiences.
Using this Resource:
Connections to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
History and Social Studies
4.23 - 4.26: Mexico
4.27 - 4.30: Central America and the Caribbean Islands
Grade 6 - SAM.1-SAM.4, as well as optional topics for study
World History I - WH.12 - WH.14: The origins of European Western expansion and the civilizations of Central and South America
WHII.16: Identify major developments of Latin American history to the early 20th century.
WHII.38: Describe the development and goals of nationalist movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, including the ideas and importance of nationalist leaders.
Arts Connection Standards 6 - 10