Caracas

Etnografía: Modo de Empleo

Museo de Bellas Artes

According to the brochure for the exhibition, the intention of “Etnografía: Modo de Empleo—Arqueología, Bellas Artes, Etnografía y Variedades” (Ethnography: a user’s guide—archaeology, fine arts, ethnography and varieties) was to “examine the distinct ways in which art addresses its context, specifically through ethnography”—understood not so much as “representation” but rather as an “operation.” Julieta González, a young curator at the Museo de Bellas Artes, constructed a multi-layered exhibition from two conceptual references: Georges Bataille’s magazine Documents (1929–30), reprint volumes of which were on display and whose subtitle was appropriated for the exhibition’s own; and an epigraph from Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever (1995): “Order is no longer secured.” In her text, González traces back the artistic appropriation of ethnographic strategies (field work, collection of

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