Memoria reciente. Contemporary Practices in the CAAM Collection

Exhibition title: Memoria reciente. Contemporary Practices in the CAAM Collection
Curators: Cristina Déniz, Mari Carmen Rodríguez Beatriz Sánchez, conservadoras del CAAM
Date: 22.02.2024 – 28.04.2024
Place: CAAM – sede principal (plantas -1, 0, 1 y 2). Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. España.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..
Opening: jueves 22 de febrero, a las 20.00 horas

Free admission

We traverse an entire area in which we move from the realm of the plastic to that of the visual
(Clara Muñoz, 1999).

The Centro Atlántico de Moderno (CAAM) Collection has been built up in line with the founding principles of the centre, favouring the narration of contemporary creation in the Canary Islands in the 20th and 21st centuries, and its dialogue with national and international artistic movements. In addition to this, the CAAM acknowledges the geostrategic and historical context of the islands, creating a space for Atlantic dialogue, that incorporates works by artists from European, African and American cartographies. The current collection has been built in parallel with the exhibition programme of the centre, acquiring works by local, national and international artists considered representative of the various manifestations of contemporary artistic production.

Within these contemporary artistic movements that make up the Collection, we find a special section dedicated to Conceptual Art, which has been to the fore ever since the Zaj group first emerged. This was the final section of the exhibition Isla de arte (Art Island): A Collection for the Museo de Bellas Artes de Gran Canaria, featuring one of that group’s most iconic figures, the grancanariano musician and multidisciplinary artist Juan Hidalgo, who establishes the connection between that exhibition and this one. Beyond his own work, Hidalgo naturally influenced several generations of post-conceptual artists.

The languages of contemporary art, the multidisciplinary and the transversal creation pose questions relating to decolonisation, the local and the global, gender and equality, identity, representation and action, landscape and territory, social and political positions, propositions of participation or criticism of institutions, memory and history, ecology and sustainability. Furthermore, we have implemented an acquisitions practise that seeks to balance the presence of works by female creators.

Memoria Reciente (Recent Memory) proposes an uninterrupted continuation in time of Isla de arte: propositions beyond the conceptual that give visibility to new themes, styles, approaches and formats; visual alerts for our time and territory, on thinking and the socio-political forms of behaviour. We wanted to avoid a mere chronological series. We only kept the starting point and opted for a completely visual approach, with the intention of remaining accessible and organised, impregnating the rooms with perspectives that inevitably respond to the concerns and observations that interact with the space of diversity, just as we manage to co-exist with our own contradictions, certainties and desires. We will find pieces that have gestated in the space of the CAAM or make reference to their institutional condition, from pieces from projects linked to the Atlántica journal, works from the 2002 acquisition of the APM Collection and the Galería Leyendecker, important landmarks in the development of the Collection, up to and including the latest action of the Department of Culture of the Gran Canaria Island Council, the COVID-19 Emergency Cultural Plan which incorporated new proposals and works. New additions that enrich the contemporary narrative of time forever in construction and evolution.

Around 140 artists from different backgrounds, with works dating from 1980s onwards using different media: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video and all at once, evidence an exercise of expanded field, a polyvalent practice that questions the boundaries of artistic disciplines and genres. Trends overlap and interact, and we rely on interrelated organisational practices to be able to think and analyse the potential focal points of attention of the artistic community on contemporary issues, challenges and concerns from open and diverse perspectives. We offer an experience of perception, enjoyment and relaxation and, we hope, it generates a “movement in thinking” among visitors. ¹

From the pieces themselves, significant groups seem to emerge. They encompass certain lines of thought and practice. We present this selection which brings together a fragment of the history of the CAAM collection, through this historiographical exercise.

Atlantic identity

Links and references

From history to the present

From abstraction to concept

From the CAAM

Natural and urban landscapes

Reflections on the single entity

Social imagery and ritual

From an active position

  1. M-Arte y Cultura Visual. MAV Journal. Interview with Concha Jerez María José Magaña, on occasion of MAV Award 2012.
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