In an effort to further engage with these critical questions pertaining to the conditions of Central American art from the mid to late twentieth century, I applied to a Tinker Field Research Grant to travel to Mexico City, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica for a period of three weeks in the summer of 2018. The objective of my trip was to become familiar with relevant information sources and develop contacts with scholars and institutions relevant to my field. Through my research, I was able to gain greater clarity of the social and political realities that face Central America and the ways in which art functioned and continues to manifest as a form of empowerment and resistance. Defined by its doubtful and indeterminate position, the narrow stretches of Central America have also been marginalized from the artistic panorama of Latin America. Prompted by the political instabilities generated by the Central American crisis, a range of artistic practices from this period have been silenced, censored, or erased. During my time abroad, much of my work focused on learning about artistic practices taking place during this period. Through conversations, interviews, and archival research, I was able to get a better understating of the artistic climate of Central America in the late twentieth century, and the documentation that accompanied it.
August 30, 2018