[San Juan + Rincon] Puerto Rico ’04

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Date/Time: 01/06/2004 12:00 am

Puerto Rico ’04
Puerto Rico ’04 is the third of a series of events organized every two years by M&M proyectos. On this occasion, several international curators have been invited to propose and work on projects in the specific context of Puerto Rico. The event will take place from May 28 to May 30 in San Juan and from May 31 to June 6, 2004, in Rincón, a town of 15,000 local habitants with a significant floating population of temporary residents. Our interest is to work closely with the community, carrying out a sort of archaeology of the place and having the artists collaborate with local residents. This would be the third project that M&M proyectos would undertake in this town, this time with the participation of international artists and curators, which will also expand the scope of interaction between the local community and a wider international context.
During PR 04, we will concentrate on a given local reality, which is the collective memory left of the attempt to host the Olympic Games of 2004. Our aim is to re-articulate the Olympic spirit in order to allow for new meanings, in this sense, the event will partly reformulate and propose a new Olympics, our Olympics and that of the guest curators and artists. More than an exhibition, this project is envisioned as an opportunity to create symbiotic relations between the local and international artistic communities. Artists will elaborate projects in various venues (public and private spaces, publications, situations, interventions, presentations, panel discussions, etc), and we look forward to sharing these activities during one week with daily guests from the non-art community.
Tribute to the messenger
Pheidippides:(f d p´ d z) (KEY) , fl. 490 B.C., semilegendary Athenian courier sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon. He ran 150 miles in two days. At the conclusion of the battle, he ran the 22 mi (35 km) back to Athens, where he reportedly shouted “Rejoice! We conquer!” and then died of exhaustion.
“There are many legends associated with Spiridon Louis. Some say he was a poor shepherd who trained for his Olympic Marathon debut by praying in front of holy icons and fasting for two days and two nights before the race. Other sources say he was a mailman, or a soldier, or a farmer, or a messenger”
There is beauty in the act of dying delivering a message and of winning a competition while not being an athlete. This beauty no doubt informs and animates the endeavor behind PR 04. Art is a matter of passion and devoutness, no degree of specialization can materialize into art if passion is not behind the undertaking. Pheidippides and Spiridon were both amateur racers; most importantly they were messengers. The act of communication is what we find relevant in these two stories, which resurface every other Olympic year, even more so this one, in which the games will be held in Greece.
During the time-frame of 10 days PR 04 will undertake several events led by artists and curators, which all require an investment of time, effort, passion and which result above all in situations or acts of communication and exchange between the participants themselves and the occasional public or local communities involved.