Jaime Guillermo González Solís
In 2021, 50 contemporary art curators, researchers, and museum professionals from 32 different countries were awarded support to attend the CIMAM 2021 Annual Conference, in-person and online.
For the first time, and thanks to the generous support of The Getty Foundation who sponsored the virtual platform, 27 grantees attended the conference online, while 23 attended onsite.
Launched in 2005, CIMAM’s Travel Grant Program is designed to foster cooperation and cultural exchange between contemporary art curators and museum directors in emerging and developing economies and their counterparts in other regions of the world.
Jaime Guillermo González Solís's Conference Report
Reflections inside a Contemporary Art Museum have to address relevant topics from diverse and actualized points of view. Sometimes, professionals' focus from within the institutions may tend to become self-centered, which may be prevented by connecting with perspectives from other geographies and contexts. As a young curator with only four years of experience, this conference meant a significant milestone in my career to participate in international platforms that share experiences and understand their relevance.
I was unfamiliar with Poland's art scene, cultural environment, or museum infrastructure. However, even from afar, by videos and testimonies, I could be way more aware of the implications behind this country's political and social issues. I think that its historical background and contexts were very well addressed through the conference speakers and through the projects that were selected to be discussed. This allowed me to begin to imagine and open up my sensibility to relate to the context and some of its issues through art and curatorial practice. In the past weeks, these questions have stayed with me in my daily labors in the museum, translating them to my very own reflections of Mexico's local problematics in contemporary art practice in very different ways.
The conferences and perspectives shared by the speakers at those three days of intense activity were very well selected. Mashed up together, the speakers' points of view guided me through different strategies to imagine curatorial answers to identified problems, dealt through the museum's potential force as an ever-changing space. I think that this consciousness of the museum's nature is rooted in the awareness of its historical origins and the problems they represent. In the context of these last years' planetary consciousness on colonial and climate-change topics, it is urgent to discuss this specific question in the professional field. T. J. Demos' keynote was compromised to address this particular matter in North American museums through a varied selection of actions. This specific contribution was vital to me because of the clarity of the questions raised that both recognized the radical propositions of the cases analyzed and the need to acknowledge the context not to destroy but to build up from the museum's capacity.
Getting to know other professionals in the museum field from very different contexts through online workshops and networking sessions was also really enjoyable. Personally, this was very significant for the point where I currently am in my career. I got to share experiences with similar people to me. I think it was really surprising to know that we can share questions and worries in countries from the other side of the world. Hopefully, this may lead to future collaborations.