Detail of Museu do Pau [Museum of the Stick], 2016

Michael Linares
1979, Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Michael Linares works with installations, videos, paintings and sculptures. His oeuvre often reflects on the manner in which an object may become or cease to be considered a work of art. Linares investigates artistic narratives through appropriation practices to recover the proposals from other artists and humorously reactivate them in a critical manner. Una historia aleatoria del palo [An Aleatory History of the Stick] (2014) and Museu do Pau [Museum of the Stick] (2013-2016) are part of some extensive research on how one object or material is given different roles and meanings over time and in various cultures. By using a large collection of sticks and objects derived from this rudimentary element – including a video that depicts its different uses – Linares creates a type of inventory associating the artistic gesture to an anthropological meaning, in an effort to interpret culture in a specific museological context. The artist acts as the collector who removes objects from their contexts and inserts them into the seemingly neutral space of the museum, connecting them to museological aesthetic values and distancing them from their utilitarian quality.