The exhibition We didn’t ask permission, we just did it…, guest curated by Manuela Paz and Christopher Rivera of Embajada, revisits three seminal series of exhibitions in Puerto Rico, from 2000 to 2016, that ushered in an independent spirit of art making that is now prevalent in the region: M&M Proyectos’ PR invitationals, Gran Tropical Bienal, and Cave-In. The original projects, which took the form of idiosyncratic biennials, happenings, or interventions 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. The exhibition conveys the sense of the ambition, collective action, and self-sufficiency of the artist-makers in and from Puerto Rico, despite infrastructural limitations.
The exhibition draws on the archives of each project, following a timeline and featuring a selection of original artworks, documentation, and ephemera paired with recreated artworks commissioned for this exhibition. The presentation at CAM extends into multiple spaces of the museum, including the Front Gallery, Street Views, an intervention in the café, and a selection of sculptures in the courtyard.
We didn’t ask permission, we just did it… is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by guest curators Manuela Paz and Christopher Rivera of Embajada, San Juan.