ISLAA Exhibition Studies Initiative

Mead Art Museum, Amherst College

  • Niko Vicario
  • Lisa Crossman

23 pages
ISBN 978-1-952136-15-3
5 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.

Liliana Porter: Three Realities developed from Niko Vicario's Amherst College course “Curating between the Virtual and the Physical: Liliana Porter" and the exhibition Liliana Porter: Two Realities (February 22, 2022–January 8, 2023), organized by curator Lisa Crossman at the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Massachusetts. The publication was produced as part of the ISLAA Exhibition Studies Initiative, which aims to facilitate cultural discourse around presentations of Latin American art in partnership with arts organizations.

Liliana Porter has persistently explored the fluid and often paradoxical relationship between what she describes as “virtual reality,” or representation, and “the real thing.” Over the decades, Porter’s practice has spanned media from printmaking to installation, selectively engaging technologies like photography and video that expand and complicate experiences of these realities. The exhibition Liliana Porter: Two Realities extends this dialogue about representation in Porter’s art to consider the porous link between physical and online spaces.

During the spring 2022 semester, Amherst College students in Professor Niko Vicario’s course created four online curatorial projects in conversation with the artist and with the support of the Mead’s curatorial team. These projects (Porter and I, The Viewer as Curator, Through the Looking Glass, and Two Materialities) were designed as part of a website that connected the course and the Mead exhibition, including online content that could be accessed from the physical exhibition via QR codes. The students’ curatorial projects, available throughout the run of the Mead exhibition, explore different aspects of the dynamic between conventional museum space, online exhibitions, and Porter’s work. Liliana Porter: Three Realities bridges the museum exhibition and website using a third medium—print—for thinking through and about Porter’s work.

Featuring short reflections from participating students, excerpted texts from their online projects, and brief essays by Vicario and Crossman, it can be disassembled and rearranged by the reader and embodies yet another way of engaging with the act of curating and with the playfulness of Porter’s work.


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