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We decided to devote the month of November to aesthetics removed from so-called good taste, or perhaps we should say prevailing taste. We asked ourselves how tawdriness influences and is treated in today’s society and artistic practice, and how and why we consider a certain aesthetics tawdry.
The categories of folkloric, amateur or exotic are often included within a larger group of marginal aesthetics that are distinctive of grassroots culture. For some time now we have been witnessing a recovery of the popular in other perhaps higher spheres of culture, often to highlight its political potential. Can the endorsement of tawdriness, exoticism and amateurship become a political tool? Can this substantiation be made anywhere other than on the margins?
Does something cease to be tawdry when it becomes a cult object? What happens when tawdriness enters museums? Julia Ramírez Blanco confronted these issues on occasion of Parkineo17, held in Madrid last summer.
María Muñoz presented the latest show of works by Sol Calero, a sort of retrospective of her works on the notion of exoticism applied to a certain kind of Latin American aesthetics: Amazonas Shopping Center is a mise-en-scène of the clichés of Caribbean exoticism in which the spectator addresses a reflection on migratory fluxes, colonialism, identity and representation.
Also on the other side of the Atlantic, Claudio Iglesias reflected on Peronism in relation to the recent exhibition project by Marcelo Pombo. Praising forgotten artists and popular taste, Pombo supports what the contemporary art industry rejects, and pays tribute to the cultural scene of Rosario (Argentina) in the nineties.
Another creator being revisited today is Juan Carlos Olaria, raised to the category of cult director and currently the object of a documentary. Ana Llurba attended the projection of some of his films and in her contribution to this issue presents the work of the adventurous rudimentary sci-fi film-maker.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)