Art and resistance in Latin America

Topic(s): Exhibition | No Comments

Date/Time: 26/06/2004 12:00 am

Art and resistance in Latin America
26 June – 12 September 2004
Curated by Marco Scotini
”Produciendo Realidad”, a wide-ranging exhibition presented by the Prometeo Association for Contemporary Art and bringing together the work of 30 Latin American artists from Nicaragua to Venezuela and from Colombia to Honduras, will open on 26 June.
Following on from the general and critical success of the exhibition ”Mexico Attacks!” in February 2003, the Association’s intention is to pursue its objective of giving a voice to the cultures of minor geographies and post-colonial conditions, while continuing to concentrate on South America, one of the nerve centres of the economic and social crisis in contemporary globalism, but also one of the most vigorous areas of new art production.
”Produciendo Realidad”, curated by Marco Scotini, is promoted by the Prometeo Association, supported by the Province of Lucca, the Tuscany Tra Arte regional network for contemporary art, the Porto Franco regional project and the Argentinian Embassy, and sponsored by the Colombian Embassy, the Chilean Embassy in Italy, the Latin American Culture Institute and other Institutions. The exhibition will take place in the Church of San Matteo and other locations in Lucca, and will continue from June to September 2004, presenting the work of 30 artists, many of them very young, representing regions, such as Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, that have hitherto been totally absent from the international art scene.
The selected artists are:
A-1 53167(Guatemala), Brooke Alfaro (Panama), Regina Aguilar (Honduras), Narda Fabiola Alvarado (Bolivia), Erick Beltràn (Mexico), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Carolina Caycedo (Colombia), Wilbert Carmona (Nicaragua), Jota Castro (Peru), Alexandre da Cunha (Brazil), Regina Galindo (Guatemala), Oscar Garcia (Nicaragua), Grupo 24/7 (Beatriz Lopez, Sebastian Ramirez, Pablo Leon de la Barra – Colombia), Patrick Hamilton (Chile), Jonathan Harker (Ecuador), Federico Herrero (Costa Rica), Maria Rosa Jijon (Ecuador), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Xenia Mejia (Honduras), Ronald Moran (Salvador), Carlos Motta (Colombia), Carlos Navarrete (Chile), Ivan Navarro (Chile), Rodrigo Pacheles (Nicaragua), Ernesto Salmeron (Nicaragua), Rosemberg Sandoval (Colombia), Chemi Rosado Seijo (Puerto Rico), Santiago Sierra (Mexico), Javier Tellez (Venezuela), Francisco Valdes (Chile) and Wayruro (Argentina)
The purpose of ”Produciendo Realidad” is not simply to draw a kind of map of contemporary art in a territorial area with defined borders. Even less does it have the objective of restoring political-national identity in a national matrix. Rather it is organised round a thematic constellation in which normal relationships between economics, art, politics and culture undergo radical revision in terms of the particular emergency conditions that presently characterise Latin America.
”Produciendo Realidad” distances itself from all the clichés of ”violence, poverty, murder and drugs” that connote these countries in order to highlight the strong relationship that has been created between artistic activism and the new social protagonists of insurrectional movements.
The title ”Produciendo Realidad” refers explicitly to the economic and production state in which Latin America now finds itself, following the collapse of the International Monetary Fund’s neo-free-market model and adjustment policies. In addition, it refers to the new threat of military coups in many countries in the area. But “Produciendo Realidad” also aims to focus on resistance and protest strategies, the forms in which millions of unemployed organise themselves politically, the network of barter associations and the creation of alternative economic networks. The calle has become the preferred site of this portrayal, from the pickets interrupting traffic in Argentina and the informal economy of the Colombian neros to the construction of the favelas in Brazil.
>From this point of view, the kind of art currently being produced in Latin America deals with a genuine ”production of reality”. A wall picture showing the body of a beggar (Rosemberg Sandoval), distribution of payment for humiliating practices (Santiago Sierra), a line of coal thrown on the ground at the site of a military parade or a ton of books upturned in an avenida as picket (A-1 53167), payment of burial money in exchange for the tongue of a young corpse to be put on display (Teresa Margolles), and bartering refuse in a museum in the calle – these are just a few examples.
In Lucca the project will transform the exhibition space in the Church of San Matteo into a temporary barrio and the exhibition will be continued in other parts of the town where artists will take part in various ways: temporary outdoor platforms, local media networks (from radio to newspapers), and spaces equipped for film projections and public debates. The three central themes around which the project is organised are the illegal city and habitability, militancy and activism, and politics, identity and culture.
The city will become a fundamental element in the exhibition and not only with performance events – from Federico Herrero’s streetwork (part street signs, part graffiti) to Chemi Rosado Seijo’s skateboarding, from the monuments covered by Patrick Hamilton to Carolina Caycedo’s rap sessions, from Javier Tellez at the psychiatric hospital in Lucca and Alexandre da Cunha’s precarious shelters to the appearance in public spaces by Jota Castro, Erik Beltran and A-153167 – but also showings of art documentaries on Latin America such as Brooke Alfaro on the gangs in Panama, Rodrigo Pacheles on the children of Managua and the Argentinian counter-intelligence collective, and Wayruro on popular movements and rural struggles.
During the exhibition, a place for public debate will be provided to which speakers will be invited, including theorists Sandro Mezzadra and Paolo Virno, politicians and exponents of Latin-American movements such as the Colectivo Situaciones, as well as figures from local and regional associations.
The catalogue contains a full list of the artists invited (many of them in Italy for the first time), together with a forum of politico-social essays by the exponents of the various movements, alternating with conversations between artists and critics.
Promoted by: Prometeo Association for contemporary art
Address: Church of San Matteo, Piazza San Matteo 3 and other locations in Lucca
Opening: Saturday 26 June 2004, 19,00
Exhibition period: 26 June – 12 September
Visiting hours: Monday/Saturday 10,30-13, 16-20.
Info: tel. 348 7394163 fax 0583 471464


Supported by:
Province of Lucca
Tra – Art Regional network for contemporary art,
Porto Franco Regional project
Argentinian Embassy
Sponsored by:
Colombian Embassy
Chilean Embassy
Latin American Culture Institute

Questions? Ask us