Travel manifesto
Pieza del mes Conexiones Bitácora Habla
Qué es y qué quiere ser MICROMUSEO

An AMBULATORY museum, a wheeling museum, conceived not to communicate relations of cultural POWER between the elites of the centre and those of the periphery, but to serve as a vehicle for new, home-grown COMMUNITIES of SENSE, communities of SENTIMENT. Micromuseo’s proposal is not limited to TREASURING and exhibiting works, although the organization of shows and the formation of a collection are amongst its objectives. This museum does not just accumulate objects: it CIRCULATES them. It does not consecrate or enshrine: it CONTEXTUALIZES. It does not have a single location: it TRAVELS and distributes itself according to the characteristics of each of its projections.


A WHEELING museum, an ambulatory museum, articulated not in terms of alliances defined on the basis of the global, but rather as a specific, local encounter between the LETTERED-PETIT-BOURGEOISIE and the EMERGENT POPULAR EXPERIENCE. A creative FRICTION in which the SUBALTERN irrupts into—interrupts—any illusion of UNFISSURED continuity between the dominant cultures of centre and (ULTRA)PERIPHERY. But also into any naïve notion of homogeneity for the CRITICAL culture thus constructed through not always harmonious COUNTERPOINTS.


A politics of MULTIPLE INSCRIPTIONS whose privileged materialization is not in the object or in the collection or in the physical space but rather in the CRITICAL PROJECT that articulates each one of those elements, even in anticipation of their respective existence. THE MUSEUM BEFORE THE MUSEUM.


A MUSEUM PRAXIS that juxtaposes the disperse FRAGMENTS of our many expressions, reciprocally ILLUMINATED by their CONTRASTS as much as by their articulations. FRICTIONARY STRATEGIES whose main dynamizing principle is NOT TO REPRESS BUT TO PRODUCTIVIZE DIFFERENCES, to render difference itself productive. To place on the critical scene the DISCONTINOUS character of history and of culture and of politics in a Peruvian society made of FRACTURES: a country that is not a country, much less a nation, but rather an ARCHIPIELAGO of DISLOCATED and harshly superimposed temporalities. An unimagined community where no present cancels all the unresolved pasts that pour over us, and over us CRUMBLE. Or their symbolic INERTIAS.


A MESTIZO MUSEALITY, a mongrel museality in which the words “artist” and “artisan” will gradually be replaced by that of “ARTIFICER”, seeking in that way to signify the crisis of these and other distinctions in a culture increasingly made up of THE IMPURE AND THE CONTAMINATED. Exchanges of FLUIDS in which the subaltern occupies a new place, no longer as an imaginary re-presentation but instead as an IRRUPTION, a factual INTERRUPTION in the discourse, in the artistic INTERCOURSE.


A PROMISCUOUS MUSEALITY, in which works termed artistic coexist with their erudite referents, and at the same time with MASS products or RECYCLED objects of industrial origin, in addition to notable examples of the multifarious popular creativity––including RELIGIOUS paraphernalia and those crude “HECHIZA” (handicrafted, homemade) SHOTGUNS that played a dramatic role in the many violences that redefine Peruvian (post)modernity. Decisive but precarious remains of our most URGENT (in)material culture.


A deliberate MIXTURE of cultures and contexts: the ARTISTIC, the ARTISANAL, the (SEMI)INDUSTRIAL. The PREHISPANIC and the MODERN, the COLONIAL and the CONTEMPORARY. ILLICIT, surprising, associations, although not foreign to those offered by our permanent experience of apparently disconnected SIMULTANEITIES. All pieces of a forever MUTANT puzzle, disturbed as well with DOCUMENTS of various sorts, perceived not only as referents but as DEBRIS, the material remains of an EXPLODED reality.

Material remains, material culture: it is under this broader horizon that Micromuseo places its almost entire praxis, converting art into an inevitable but DEHIERARCHIZED portion of a more complex factual and symbolic conglomerate that confronts and subverts and upsets–ALTERS–this much mystified category. ¿High and low? Low and low, in fact. Low and LOWER.


A THEORY OF VALUE that shifts this ECONOMIC and aesthetic––not to say aesthetizising––notion towards the CHEMICAL––and political––concept of valency: the capacity to COMBINE AND BLEND AND MIX assumed as one of the principal attributes of each gesture or piece. A ceaseless game of free associations designed to liberate the REPRESSED potential of meaning in objects thus defamiliarized and returned to their DISQUIETING STRANGENESS, their sometimes uncanny or SINISTER condition.


A POLITICO-CULTURAL COPULATION in which the very name and notion of a MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART becomes a CONTRADICTION IN TERMS: in order to be genuinely contemporary, the museum must renounce any exclusive vocation for the artistic.

Art today is but an additional ingredient for the OVERWHELMING new visuality that rules all and SUBVERTS everything. Even our erudite existences and gazes must now negotiate their ways and means––their very meanings––not with the LETTERED CITY, as Angel Rama posited barely a couple of decades ago, but with the ICONIC CITY, with the electronic cybersphere. And, once again, with the symbolic INERTIAS of our many pasts, all TRUNCATED and yet none quite cancelled.


A CATALYZER OF MEMORY, capitalizing even the endless DEFEATS, transforming them into EXPERIENCE by activating as CONSCIOUSNESS the fragments of our so often BROKEN history. Remainders turned into reminders through their reincorporation into a continuum forever INTERRUPTED yet always RECOMPOSED. With TRANSMUTED meanings.


A HISTORICAL RESERVE, preserving and making available objects, documents and concepts––VISIONS, too––which, had it not been for this initiative, would in many cases have disappeared in spite of their relevance. Micromuseo’s signalings recover and value gestures and works at their riskiest, even MOST PERILOUS circumstance. An audacious wager on our HARSHEST CONTEMPORANEITY, despised in its moment and now validated a posteriori by the growing incorporation of its cultural forms into other instances and institutions. A renewed common sense to which Micromuseo has contributed since its EARLIEST positions.


An ALLEGORICAL STRUCTURE of museum language, born out of the ambivalent STRUCTURE OF SENTIMENT in our LIMINAL, perhaps TERMINAL times. Collections and interventions in which the object becomes an allegorical construct whose elements are articulated through relations not of identity but of ANALOGY and FRICTION. DIALECTICAL IMAGES whose paradoxical strength lies precisely in contradiction: what is staged through them is not an unfissured totality but a radical consciousness made of harshly superimposed fragments. NOT THE ADAPTATION OF DIFFERENCE BUT ITS EXALTATION.


A PASSIONAL conception of the museum not as a treasure chamber or a paragon of social or academic prestiges, but as a CRITICAL AGENT of new citizenship. And as an ALTERNATE and home-grown sense of (post)modernity. The purpose of Micromuseo is not to accumulate works but to ACTIVATE them. Not to enter art history––that waning category––but to modify history itself.


Not an ends but a MEANS. Micromuseo offers itself as part of a broader project, related to our precarious reality. And to the efforts to understand that reality by TRANSFORMING it.


A MYSTICO-LIBIDINAL vocation that vindicates even the relevance of RELIGION and of THEOLOGY as ineludible experiences for the cultural problematization of our ultimate condition. The conviction here is that the primordial sense of curatorship is HEALING. Spiritual and political.

And the final attitude for final times is to fully, wholly come to terms with the remains of these, our mestizo, mutant, CYBORGS bodies of culture –and flesh. And desire. The indispensable, inconceivable, interchange of fluids between BENJAMIN and HEIDEGGER. Against the DISGREGATION OF AURA, that awakened such illuminating obsessions in the messianic JEW. Against the DARKENING OF THE WORLD, that the NAZI existentialist glimpsed in the flight of the gods, in the modern hollowing out of the earth. Against the false glitter of COMMODITY FETISHISM.

Let difference SHINE.

© MICROMUSEO. Lima, Perú. 2009
Diseño y desarrollo: OrtizCastro.NET