Getting meta: a museum inside a gallery inside a library

Featured in The Harold printed newsletter: Issue 1 – Fall 2018

Tropical Contrast | Punta Salinas, Puerto Rico — A contrast on the Punta Salinas road, a few miles outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the great guns with which the U.S. is fortifying the island pass the humble ox cart of a Puerto Rican “Jibaro” (mountain man). Credit line (ACME) 1-12-40
Tropical Contrast | Punta Salinas, Puerto Rico — A contrast on the Punta Salinas road, a few miles outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the great guns with which the U.S. is fortifying the island
pass the humble ox cart of a Puerto Rican “Jibaro” (mountain man). Credit line (ACME) 1-12-40.

Currently on view in the gallery, Pablo Delano’s conceptual art installation, The Museum of the Old Colony, uses reproduced materials and curatorial approaches familiar from traditional historical and anthropological museums (such as walls painted “imperial gray”!). Delano aims to critique the role of photography, archives, and museums in constructing problematic narratives and images of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, and in naturalizing the socioeconomic and military exploitation of the island by the United States since 1898. The gallery context provides a place for shifting those narratives and engaging in important conversations.

What’s in a name?

The Museum of the Old Colony takes its name, in part, from a U.S. brand of soft drink called Old Colony, popular in Puerto Rico since the 1950s. Old Colony (the beverage) is available at
island groceries and restaurants in two flavors: grape and pineapple. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has endured 523 years of colonial rule — first under Spain, now under the United States. The island, officially defined as an “unincorporated territory of the United States,” is widely regarded as the world’s oldest colony.

Come see this fascinating exhibit;
extended programming runs through November.

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