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Militant Nostalgia

John Street (Dundas Street to Front Street)

Curated by Paco Barragán, this exhibition features 10 projects along John Street between Dundas Street and Front Street,


Curatorial Statement

Militant Nostalgia or When History Meets Memory tackles mediation and meditation on history and the passage of time. Nostaglia functions as an intermediary between the collective (history) and the individual (memory).

Unlike what was expected, the 21st Century has brought about on the one hand a moment of profound crisis, despair and deception; and on the other a discrediting of the big theories and ideologies (metanarratives) that have provided a solid and comprehensive explanation of our world. As a result, we as contemporary subjects feel disappointment, loss and are in search of a narrative that gives sense to our lives and future. The future is not what we have been promised and as such we long for the past.

Militant Nostalgia... is a kind of contradiction in terms which pursues a revolutionary and reflective exploration of the past enabling a challenging and even utopian vision of the present-future.

Militant Nostalgia... allows us to look back at our past histories and memories searching for unrealized projects, failed dreams and unconsidered propositions in a prospective manner, envisioning alternate futures and un-marched paths wherein personal and collective memory meet.

Militant Nostalgia is a meditation on history and time. Nostalgia functions as a bridge between the collective (history) and the individual (memory). A contradiction in terms it pursues a reflective exploration of the past enabling a challenging utopian vision of the future.

— Paco Barragán


Paco Barrágan is curator of visual arts at Matucana 100, Santiago de Chile and Contributing Editor for ARTPULSE magazine.

Exhibitions he has recently curated include: Alfredo Jaar: May 1st, 2011: Intimate Strangers: Politics as Celebrity, Celebrity as Politics both at Matucana 100, Chile; Guided Tour: Artist, Museum, Spectator at MUSAC Leon, Spain; and Erwin Olaf: The Empire of Illusion at Museo Castagnino-MACRO Rosario, Argentina. Barrágan is author of The Art to come (2002), Subastas Siglo XXI, and The Art Fair Age (2008), CHARTA.

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