Cornerhouse, Ikon Gallery

Publications on Latin American history, politics and culture as well as exhibitions of Latin American art have contributed to a false image of cultural coherence corresponding to this geographical designation. Latin American literature and art have come to signify “Latinness”—the fantastic, erotic, and epic. The result is that even cultural mélange and hybridity seem to testify to a homogeneous cultural and social experience overriding linguistic, historical, national, ethnic and other differences. The problem of defining a “Latin American identity” centers on questions of who does the defining, and in whose interest. The differences between this notion and what may at first look like comparable designations such as European, have also generated debate.

Curated by the British art critic and writer Guy Brett, the exhibition “Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists,” included work by

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