NEW YORK, NY.- El Museo del Barrio
announced that El Museos Bienal: The (S) Files 2011, its sixth biennial of the most innovative, cutting-edge art created by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists currently working in the greater New York area, takes place June 14, 2011 - January 8, 2012. This years edition focuses on the aesthetics of the street and spreads all over the city, showcasing a record 75 emerging artists in six different venues, including El Museo.
Since its first edition in 1999, The (S) Files has become a successful launching platform for a wide variety of talented Latino artists. Most recently, Allora & Calzadilla, featured in The (S) Files in 2000, have been selected to represent the U.S. at this years Venice Biennial. Additional notable alumni include Margarita Cabrera, Alejandro Cesarco, Pablo Helguera, Tamara Kostianovsky, Carlos Motta, and Iván Navarro.
Curators Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Trinidad Fombella, Elvis Fuentes, and guest curator Juanita Bermúdez have chosen the street as focal point of this years biennial deliberately, to call attention to the direct effect of economic and political crises in art production. Social tensions as well as economic limitations have historically pushed artists to employ their urban environment as creative setting as well as a source for materials, explains Fuentes. The (S) Files 2011 foregrounds both Latino artists who have been involved in New York street art movements like graffiti since the 1970s and others who due to current circumstances are taking on the street for the first time to produce their art.
Aiming to expand the definition of contemporary Latino and Latin American art, The (S) Files 2011 takes on a broad exploration of the visual energy, events, and aesthetics of the street. While considering the more conventional understandings of street art such as graffiti and mural painting, The (S) Files 2011 extends the definition of street art by also considering non-traditional art objects as well as works from other disciplines, including music and fashion.
The (S) Files 2011 explores how the boundaries between public/private and personal/universal are blurred by urban culture, and examines the street as catalyst for change in mainstream culture. The exhibition looks at how these social borders mix and dissolve in urban environments, and how artists use these social alterations as points of creative departure.
Among the themes developed in The (S) Files 2011 are the influence of early New York street art movements, text and urban styles, and the creation of art works from urban debris. The variety of issues addressed by the artists range from daily life situations, to social behaviors, to economic distress.
In addition to its overall focus on New York-based artists, The (S) Files 2011 celebrates the Biennial of the Central American Isthmus (Bienal del Istmo Centroamericano) by showcasing the work of a group of artists featured in its most recent edition.