Under The Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today perfectly embodies the constant causality between politics and art. The exhibition showcases an eclectic range of artistic techniques and aesthetics created by artists from the Latin America region from the 1970s to the present day. Under The Same Sun first made its debut in 2014 at The Guggenheim Museum, now the collection is being showcased at the South London Gallery. It is also the first exhibition to be presented in both the gallery’s main site and its new building, the former Peckham Road Fire Station.
The varied artistic approaches that are presented in the exhibition which includes photography, installation, sketches, painting, video and even the use of the body to create a performance are significant as it reflects the diversity of the Latin America peninsula. Under The Same Sun acknowledges the many rich, cultural differences between the peninsula’s nations, that each country has a story to tell especially to an audience who are unfamiliar of the history and the current socio-political atmosphere of the region. These differences are brought together side by side to create a union. The history of colonization by the Spaniards and Portuguese, for example, has greatly shaped and influenced Latin America today and the effects are still very much felt. The complex intersecting themes of post-colonialism, economics, environment, politics and sociology are apparent in the exhibition.
(Jonathas de Andrade’s Posters for the Museum of the Man of the Northeast being exhibited at the former Peckham Road Fire Station.)
Wilson Diaz’s ‘Colonial and Indigenous Names of the Coca Plant’ explores the role of the coca plant – which cocaine is synthesized from, throughout Latin America. Amalia Pica’s piece called ‘A ∩ B ∩ C’ is a reference to 1970s Argentina, when set theory was banned in schools for fear that it may incite rebellion against the military dictatorship. Carlos Amorales’ interactive installation called ‘We’ll See How Everything Reverberates’ involves cymbals and encourages visitors to play them however they want. It demonstrates how human behaviour is established, from the player to those around; it highlights the potential outcomes and reactions of people when given ‘freedom’. Jonathas de Andrade’s portraitures of ordinary, working Brazilian men relates to a museum in Recife by social anthropologist, Gilberto Freyre. It explores self-perception and where local men put themselves in the Brazilian culture.
Under The Same Sun uses contemporary and conceptual art to make an understanding of Latin America’s present by reminding us of its history, therefore raises discussions and challenges for its future. Latin America is definitely producing talented artists who are worthy to be recognized and they demand to be heard, as they should.
Under The Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today is open to the public until September 4th 2016 at the South London Gallery. Admission is also free. More information about the exhibition can be found here.