Puerto Rican Artists at The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Ignacio González Lang, Open Mic. Fortaleza #302, 2000. Featured in M&M proyectos’ PR ‘00 Paréntesis en la Ciudad, Artistic Director Michy Marxuach, October 9–14, 2000, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Courtesy the artist and Michy Marxuach.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) presents We didn’t ask permission, we just did it..., an exhibition guest curated by Embajada co-founders Christopher Rivera and Manuela Paz in collaboration with CAM Chief Curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi and Assistant Curator Misa Jeffereis. On view at CAM from September 9, 2022 through February 12, 2023, the show spotlights three key exhibitions that had a hand in shaping many artist practices both in Puerto Rico and internationally.

We didn’t ask permission, we just did it... revisits a series of three seminal exhibitions in Puerto Rico, from 2000 to 2016, that adopted an independent spirit of art making: M&M Proyectos’ PR invitationals, organized by Michy Marxuach; the Gran Tropical Bienals, founded by Pablo León de la Barra; and Cave-In initiated by Mike Egan. The original projects, which took the form of idiosyncratic biennials, happenings, or installations by artists working in an array of unconventional mediums and international in scope, in part spurred the self-reliant gallery community flourishing in San Juan, Puerto Rico today. We didn’t ask permission, we just did it... conveys the sense of ambition, collective action, and self-sufficiency of experimental artist communities despite infrastructural limitations.

Exhibiting artists include (list in formation): Allora & Calzadilla, Alterazioni Video, Lucas Blalock, Stefan Bruggerman, Borden Cappalino, Carolina Caycedo, Lourdes Correa Carlo, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Jorge González Santos, Vanessa Hernandez, Federico Herrero, Alana Iturralde, Jessica Kaire, Ajay Kurian, Ignacio González Lang, Pablo León de la Barra, José Lerma, Daniel Lind Ramos, Matilsha Marxuach, Lionel Maunz, Andy Meerow, Jesús “Bubu” Negrón, Damián Ortega, Ernesto Pujol, Jorge Rivera, Dhara Rivera, Monica Rodriguez, Joel “Yoyo” Rodriguez, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Edra Soto, and Andra Ursuta.

We didn’t ask permission, we just did it... is generously supported by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and Whitaker Foundation.

For more information, visit camstl.org.