José Carlos Martinat: American Echo Chamber

Fifteen Specially Commissioned Kinetic Light Sculptures Ranging from Historical Images to Popular Internet Memes

— December 4, 2018 – January 26, 2020 —

neon sculpture of a wall
José Carlos Martinat. American Echo Chamber, 2018. Motors, LEDs, microcontroller, and radio module. Dimensions variable. © José Carlos Martinat. Courtesy PAMM, the artist and Revolver Galería.

(MIAMI, FL — November 19, 2018) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to present American Echo Chamber, a solo exhibition specially commissioned by the museum with José Carlos Martinat, one of the most internationally exhibited Peruvian artists of his generation. The exhibition investigates how ideologies are amplified and reinforced in the current social and political landscape.

Curated by PAMM Associate Curator María Elena Ortiz, she mentions, “José Carlos Martinat created an impressive new work for our museum, which brings the streets of Lima into our Miami gallery, while commenting on politics as spectacle. Emphasizing our commitment to cutting-edge Latin American contemporary art, it marks an exciting development in his practice that will captivate our audiences.”

Located in PAMM’s unique double-height gallery, American Echo Chamber is comprised of 15 kinetic light sculptures, and additional LED screens, that explore the current state of our political and cultural landscape. By portraying symbols of popular culture that relate to our current state of affairs, the artist uses the language of light and the pop of neon to highlight how serious issues have been reduced to entertainment. Inspired by the popular tradition of pyrotechnic parks in Peru, the artist adopts this medium of social amusement to tell a story about the breakdown of public discourse in both his original and adopted culture. These symbols range from historical images such as the political cartoon “Join, or Die” attributed to founding father Benjamin Franklin, to popular internet memes. Martinat is continually recontextualizing symbols of violence, manipulation, racism, and migration as signs we “consume” everyday as citizens.

By creating a space that amplifies the consumption of these symbols and information, Martinat compares the contemporary political scene to an echo chamber, emphasizing a dynamic in which people seek media outlets that reinforce their beliefs as an unconscious exercise of validation and prejudice. Martinat’s practice highlights society’s complex dynamics and intersections of technology, politics, and virtual social spaces.

This year-long installation reflects PAMM’s engagement with the contemporary moment via the commissioning of new works, and further shows the museum’s ongoing commitment to presenting art from historically underrepresented communities, including the African diaspora, the Caribbean, Latin America, and US Latinx.

José Carlos Martinat: American Echo Chamber is organized by PAMM Associate Curator María Elena Ortíz with support provided by Revolver Galería. Ongoing support for PAMM’s Project Galleries from Knight Foundation is also gratefully acknowledged.

ABOUT JOSÉ CARLOS MARTINAT

José Carlos Martinat (b. 1974, Lima) has had solo exhibitions at Revolver Galería, Buenos Aires; Galeria Leme, São Paulo; Carmen Araujo Arte, Caracas; Galería Patricia Ready, Santiago; and Galeria Baginski, Lisbon. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Sala Alcalá 31, Madrid; Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico; Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador; Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Havana Biennial; Gervasuti Foundation, Venice; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Saatchi Gallery, London; Museo de arte de Lima; Tate Modern, London; Shanghai Biennial; Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; and the Centro Cultural de España, Lima. His work is included in the collections of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate Britain, London.

ABOUT PÉREZ MUSEUM MIAMI

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. Led by Director Franklin Sirmans, the nearly 35-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Instagram/Twitter (@pamm).

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Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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