Liliana Porter

'Other Situations'

SCAD Museum of Art presents "Other Situations," a survey exhibition of works by New York-based artist Liliana Porter. Originally educated in printmaking — a discipline that deeply influenced her practice — Porter moved to New York in 1964, where she cofounded the New York Graphic Workshop with artists Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo. Since then, Porter has worked in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, assemblages, video, installation and, more recently, theater.

Liliana Porter, "Joan of Arc, Elvis, Che," detail, digital Duraflex, 35" x 29", 2011. Courtesy of the artist.
Liliana Porter, "Joan of Arc, Elvis, Che," detail, digital Duraflex, 35" x 29", 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

"Other Situations" presents 30 object-based works and two video pieces organized in nonlinear, thematic groupings that highlight Porter's artistic evolution over five decades. Among the significant artwork included in the exhibition are Porter's 1970s photographs alluding to space and the body, and a series of prints referencing surrealist René Magritte that interrogate image, representation and simulacra. The exhibition also includes more recent works in which Porter utilizes miniature workers and figurines to make a statement about reality and self-awareness.

Furthermore, Porter's artwork explores the conflicting boundaries between reality and fiction and the ways in which images are circulated and consumed. Her work includes a fundamental distinction between the notions of "narrative" and "situation." The linear structure implicit in most stories suggests a relationship with time in which Porter is not interested. In her universe, it is unclear where the traveler is coming from, how an army became trapped in a tide of paint, or how a giant piano will be fixed. Instead, the situations she creates always occur in the present tense. The past and future of the action become irrelevant in light of the urgency and absurdity of the problems faced by her characters.

Sometimes paired in conversation or arranged in larger groups, Porter’s characters — a pantheon of cultural figures such as Elvis Presley, Che Guevara, Jesus, Mickey Mouse and Benito Juárez — appear to uncover the burden of domestic ontologies. The representation of these heavily mediated individuals, and the questions about image dissemination and public life, become particularly relevant in present times, where the fields of politics, spectacle and celebrity culture collide and merge.

Porter’s SCAD Museum of Art exhibition is listed as an art-world highlight of 2017, according to Omar Kholeif, senior curator and director of global initiatives for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Read more about what he has to say in The Art Newspaper.

Read more from the New York Times about the exhibition, on loan from the SCAD Museum of Art, and on display at the El Museo del Barrio in New York City through Jan. 27, 2019.

About the artist

Born in Argentina in 1941, Porter’s work has been exhibited in more than 35 countries in over 450 group shows, including those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; New Museum, New York; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, and many others. Her works are in public and private collections at the Tate Modern, London, England; Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Museo de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá, Colombia; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; and the Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland. Porter’s work has been reviewed in ArtforumArt in America and Sculpture Magazine, among others, and the book, "Liliana Porter in Conversation with Inés Katzenstein," was published in 2013 by the Fundación Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. The artist is represented by galleries in Europe, Latin America and the United States.


"Other Situations" is curated by Humberto Moro, SCAD curator of exhibitions.

Museum Admission

This event is free and open to the public.

More on view