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Laboratorio Arte Alameda

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Photo: Silvana Martínez/Secretaría de Cultura CDMX

The Laboratorio Arte Alameda (LAA) is at home in a yellow church facing the western edge of the Alameda Central. Dedicated to the exhibition, documentation, production, and investigation of artistic practice in dialogue with technology, it’s one of the City’s leading contemporary art spaces. Though its a reputation is for focusing mostly on video art installations, a glance at their past exhibitions will show that it’s not always been the case.

Focusing on work created specific to the space, the LAA also supports national and international artistry. The many programs encourage reflection and an exchange of ideas among audiences and through the electronic media community in Mexico and around the world.

The LAA also presents projects, curatorial and artistic, to investigate the intersection of knowledge and contemporary museum practices. The LAA opens its doors to all audiences who want to explore, with a special interest in neglected or vulnerable communities. As an institution, the LAA has also worked to form alliances and to collaborate with actors with the four fundamental tasks: exhibition, documentation, production, and investigation.

As a highly visible building on the edge of the Alameda, it makes a perfect place to pop in. Exhibitions are generally open for a period of months, several times a year, and the LAA Facebook Page posts events as their happening.

The Pinacoteca Virreinal de San Diego

The current Laboratorio occupies the old Pinacoteca Virreinal de San Diego. This was a museum from 1964 until 2000. It was dedicated to paintings produced in New Spain, from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Art in 2000.

The church was originally part of the Monastery of San Diego. This was founded in 1591 in what had been called the tianguis of  San Hipólito. By 1682, the monastery was home to 60 brothers. The area out front of the convent is famous for having been the site of the executions carried out by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. This took place in New Spain until 1771 when the Alameda was expanded.