Picture: Juan Pablo Echeverri, "boYos", 2009.

Attention to diverse bodies and desires has been a hallmark of the programming of the Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo since its foundation fifteen years ago. The performance possibilities of bodies and the unprecedented social choreographies emerging from their communities are a core focus of the institution. Over time, this celebration of difference and celebration of minority voices has gradually permeated the collections.

It is important to understand that this is not simply a thematic tilt, but an inherent aspect of this institution's mission. The contemporary art regime emerged in the mid-1960s at the same time as a paradigm shift in the way gender politics were understood; it was the time of second-wave feminism and the LGTBI liberation movement, the class revolts of May '68 and their international reverberations, independence for the countries formerly controlled by European empires and the consequent movement of peoples that marked the beginning of the multiculturalism that characterises our present. It is not only that contemporary art has worked to give representation and visibility to different bodies, but that the processes of social change over the last 70 years are central to the global aesthetic transformation that constitutes the programme of this kind of art.

This exhibition showcases gender diversity in the collections of the Museo CA2M and Fundación ARCO, from the poetics of LGTBI visibility to recent trans aesthetics. Archipelagos of Sequins is occupying the museum's most public space - its ground floor - to celebrate difference. Every year, in early July, this celebration takes the form of Madrid’s biggest festival: LGTBI+ Pride.

Key pioneers like George Tony Stoll and Andrés Senra are joined by new non-binary voices such as Inês Zenha and Lucía C. Pino, accompanied by the trans radicalism of Manuel Solano. As in the rest of our collections, Latin American voices are also an important part of this project, including the Argentinians Osías Yanov and La Chola Poblete, the Brazilian Tadáskia and the Colombian Juan Pablo Echeverri. The exhibition’s title comes from a text by an Argentine queer theorist of the AIDS crisis generation, Néstor Perlongher: "Archipelagos of sequins, headdresses of iridescent feathers (with each shake of the trembling hip, the finery of a hundred flamingos floating in the air turning into pink dust), constellations of glitter making the face into yet another mask, a whole kitsch masonry, a delicate artifice, a contrived stridency collapses under the impact (let us say it) of death". 

Juan Pablo Echeverri - who participated in key exhibitions, such as Pop Politics, in the short history of the CA2M - passed away prematurely in 2022. This exhibition is dedicated to him.