One of the major roles of MAC USP is to critically reflect upon the legacy left by the different art movements – as well as by their alleged overcoming – over the last decades. How is this done? This is done through putting works that were created in the past side by side with the current production. In this sense, Fronteiras Incertas: Arte e Fotografia no Acervo do MAC USP [Uncertain Borders: Art and Photography in the MAC USP Collection] , curated by Helouise Costa, accomplishes this purpose, since it reveals a historical aspect that exists in the latest artistic production: a sort of “before” that is not very well known by the art scene in general, which is more concerned with the “now”.
All that's “new” in art – hugely publicized by the mass media, to which a work of art is a mere commodity that has no future or past and is quickly consumed and disposed of –, must be continuously revalued. The current artistic production needs an established body that will both add a dimension of time to it and work as a sort of an anchor that will prevent it from being disposed of in the next season. An established body that will rescue this production from being quickly disposed and give it historical substance.
The museum of contemporary art, as an institution, must be this established body and MAC USP has been assuming this role: by critically receiving “what's new” and combining it with works to which they may be related or with which they have nothing to do, it highlights that transformations in art (gladly!) tend to happen much less swiftly than the realm of pure and simple commodities.
© 2013 Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo