El Panal/The Hive

Over the course of the twentieth century, leaving an [often unrecognized] legacy today, Caribbean, Latino, Afro and Latin American artists have played critical roles in key international printmaking workshops; within collaborative groups centering on graphical practices such as posters, artists’ books, and zines; as originators of multiples utilized in ephemeral circuits of expression (such as mail, fax and Xerox art); and, moving into the twenty-first century, as creators of artist’s groups or generators of web-centered practices in which the open-ended format can be seen to be derived from the workshop model. This history is not one on its own, but rather intertwined within the larger histories of art.

Therefore, this third edition of the Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: El Panal/The Hive proposes to explore the notion of graphic practice as reliant on its essentially collaborative spirit, emphasizing the social networks, real or virtual, in which key people and practices converge. By focusing on linked histories and forged connections, we suggest that the legacy of the traditional workshop spirit survives today through new, shared undertakings that join people in real or virtual space rather than isolation. This edition of the Trienal will examine and emphasize the importance of collaborative participation in projects with an essentially graphic intention.

We propose to focus on oft-overlooked forerunners from the important international printshops such as Atelier 17, Paris (1927-1988) or working with Robert Blackburn (Jamaica) and the Printmaking Workshop, New York (1948-present). In the conceptual arena of the 1960s-1980s, the project will highlight those key circuits created by fax, mail, and Xerox art proponents such as Edgardo Antonio Vigo (Argentina); Clemente Padin (Uruguay); Felipe Ehrenberg (Mexico) or Paulo Bruscky (Brazil). Contemporary projects will include experimental Caribbean and Latin America pioneers who utilize new and interactive media, artist’s groups, and current collaborative sites and non-sites that may broadly be considered the legacy of workshop environment.

El Panal/The Hive will commission select artists or groups to create new projects, often by creating exchanges with workshops. The support of these projects and workshops underscores our belief that they create vital artistic nexuses that have the capacity to change an artist’s practice.

A bilingual catalogue will document the works presented but also further develop the relationships and ideas presented in the Trienal. Sections of the exhibition will be available for travel.