Monday, Jul 31, 2017 - 8:00 am

San Diego, CA— The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), in collaboration with the Museo Jumex in Mexico City and the Museo de Arte de Lima, presents Memories of Underdevelopment as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA from September 17, 2017 through January 21, 2018. The ambitious exhibition gathers approximately 400 objects from more than 50 artists working in eight countries throughout Latin America.

MCASD will offer free admission on the opening day of the exhibition, Sunday, September 17, thanks to generous support from Bank of America. For high-resolution images or interviews with exhibition curators, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub.

Memories of Underdevelopment is set within the context of Latin America during the 1960s to 1980s, a period that coincides with both the apex and unraveling of the developmentalist project in many countries in the region, most notably Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico.

In contrast to dominant ideologies that guided the modernization process in these countries, Memories of Underdevelopment traces the emergence of a distinct set of artistic practices that questioned the developmentalist rhetoric and proposed alternative forms of cultural production that responded to this situation of cultural and economic dependency. The exhibition identifies an epistemic break from the modern, a counter-narrative of underdevelopment, which reflected the desire to decolonize from imposed cultural and aesthetic canons. Collectively, the works presented in the exhibition reveal this trope of underdevelopment as a platform to rethink artistic production throughout Latin America.

Memories of Underdevelopment showcases conceptual and performance artworks that subvert artistic norms and redefine avant-garde practice outside the established centers of the art world. Searching for alternatives to museum-based exhibition practices, the artists in this exhibition sought to engage directly with local communities, often incorporating popular strategies from film, architecture, and theater, and grappling with political oppression. The exhibition will shed new light on well-known artists such as Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Pape, as well as lesser-known artists in Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru. Memories of Underdevelopment brings together artistic practices that, although evidently related, have until now been treated separately.

The exhibition will travel to both international partner institutions, the Museo Jumex in Mexico City in Spring 2018 and the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) in Peru in Fall 2018. In conjunction with the exhibition, MCASD will produce a companion publication to situate these artists within broader regional, national, and international contexts while demonstrating the unique and deeply influential impact of the work.

The exhibition is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, PST: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California. Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, PST: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro-Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.

Supported by more than $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, PST: LA/LA involves more than 70 cultural institutions from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Participating San Diego organizations include the Mingei International Museum, MCASD, Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), and University of San Diego (USD).

Memories of Underdevelopment is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in partnership with the Museo de Arte de Lima and the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo. Lead support is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. Additional support provided through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project has received generous underwriting support from Maryanne and Irwin Pfister and the LLWW Foundation. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


# # #