Between the mid-1970s and the late 1980s, influential new literature on colonialism and the so-called underdevelopment of the region, along with a wave of United States–backed military dictatorships, prompted many artists to think critically about what it meant to be Latin American.
Opposing the association of modernity with internationalism, artists looked to ancient histories and local Indigenous cultures to explore questions of heritage and belonging. Their works combined vernacular materials and techniques with regional travel, research and documentation, and performance. This inward turn defined a cultural movement that anticipated the decolonial and ecological thinking of many artists working today, including Antonio Paucar, an artist of Indigenous descent who is represented in this gallery by his 2005 video Marcelinho.
Organized by Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, with Julia Detchon, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, and Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.