The Bermuda Triangle of Madrid’s Museums: The Prado, the Museum of the Americas and the National Museum of Anthropology

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The Bermuda triangle of the title refers to the magical space between three Madrid museums— El Prado, the Museum of the Americas, and the National Museum of Anthropology—in which the coloniality of Spanish society disappears, in the contemporary moment as much as in the historical narrative. This article asks: where is Latin America— specifically, Latin American art—in Spain? It sets out the discursive maneuvers that have obscured that coloniality in art and in the daily activities that allow Spaniards to enjoy Andean potatoes in their tortillas and Mayan chocolate with their churros, without savoring the American bitterness that is their basic ingredient.






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Gabara, E, and I Adey (2020). The Bermuda Triangle of Madrid’s Museums: The Prado, the Museum of the Americas and the National Museum of Anthropology. Art in Translation, 12(2). pp. 128–149. 10.1080/17561310.2020.1831747 Retrieved from

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Esther Gabara

Professor of Romance Studies

Esther Gabara works with modern and contemporary art, literature, and critical theory from the Americas. Her teaching in the departments of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University covers visual studies, modernism, photography, Pop Art and popular culture, feminism, public art, and coloniality in contemporary art. She was the faculty guest curator of the exhibition, Pop América, 1965-1975 (McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2018-2020), which was awarded the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize for curatorial innovation. She also edited and wrote for the bilingual exhibition catalogue, Pop América, 1965-1975 (Nasher Museum of Art/Duke University Press, 2018). Gabara is the author of two monographs: Errant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and Brazil (Duke University Press, 2008), and Non-Literary Fiction: Art of the Americas Under Neoliberalism (University of Chicago Press, 2022). She is currently researching the institutions in Spain involved in the global diffusion of contemporary Latin American art since the 1980s, with an eye to what they reveal about Hispanism and coloniality. Other recent publications include essays for Un arte sin tutela: Salón Independiente en México, 1968-1971 (MUAC/UNAM), La Raza (Autry Museum of the American West), and Revolution and Ritual: The Photographs of Sara Castrejón, Graciela Iturbide, and Tatiana Parcero (Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery/Getty Foundation). 

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