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Publication by Living Art Room

Celebrating 2 years. Success stories

No 008. april, may, june. 2012



Catalina Restrepo Leongómez

editor and translator

Daniel Vega

art director

Rebeca Durán

Franklin Aguirre

Paulina Cornejo

Carlos Pérez Bucio

David Gremard Romero


Gonzalo Ortega

Julia Ortega

Eugenio Echeverría

Karla García


Courtesy of artists and contributors

Marco Casado

Jorge Carerra


Omar Rosales, Suspension points , 2011






Editorial 006

Celebrating two years. Success stories.

Raúl Cárdenas. TOROLAB 008

by Paulina Cornejo

María García-Ibañez 020

by Iván Buenader

Rodrigo Facundo 040

by Ivonne Pinni

La Bienal de Venecia de Bogotá (part I) 064

By Franklin Aguirre

Omar Rosales 074

Saúl Sánchez 082

Carolina Rodríguez

Marisol Maza











Kerstin Erdmann 114

Margarita Leongómez 126

By David Gremard Romero



Historias de Éxito 156

By Catalina Restrepo L.

Le Dernier Cri

by Carlos Pérez Bucio

A dark new day: present and future

of the musical industry

by Daniel Vega



La Bienal de Venecia de Bogotá (I I parte) 166

by Franklin Aguirre





It’s been 2 years since the first

editorial experiment of living art

room. Since then, larMagazine

has been edited tri-monthly,

showcasing portfolios of artists and

curators that have joined the website

and our virtual platform during

this time. It is incredible to have

reached 77 thousand readers and

550 thousand unique visits to our

publications, regardless of the statistics,

which have grown enormously thanks

to the magazine.

Our gift: a totally new website.

Now, living art room visitors will

see that portfolios have a different

structure, much easier to use and

optimized for ipads and smartphones.

Our celebration: a compilation of

success stories that inspire us, starting

by one that personally fascinates me,

La Bienal de Venecia de Bogotá, and

that if you ask me, is probably the

most ingenious, rightful, necessary,

effective and, to put it briefly,

successful initiative that has ever

been produced in Colombia. Franklin


Aguirre, its founder, tells the story

step by step, about the experience of

coordinating and living such an event,

which turns 17 years old in its next

edition, in 2012.

We also invited curator Paulina

Cornejo and artist Carlos Pérez

Bucio to share, with articles and

interviews, some of the success stories

they have witnessed. Paulina tells

us the story of an artist with whom

she’s worked closely: Torolab/Raúl

Cárdenas. Beyond describing its

work, she tells us of the difficulties

faced by Raúl, and what he’s

accomplished as an artist in social art.

Carlos, on the other side, shares us

an interview he made with one of his

greatest illustration idols: the LDC

(Le Dernier Cri) collective, formed

by Pakito Bolino and Marie-Pierre


Also in this issue, we recognize

succesful initiatives that inspire

us every day, like Centro Cultural

BORDER and OMR gallery in

Mexico City; Arteria and Esfera

Pública in Bogotá; NoMínimo space

in Guayaquil, Exit magazine in Spain

among others.

On this eighth edition we proudly

present the portfolio of one of

Colombia’s most recognized artists:

Rodrigo Facundo. We also feature

the portfolio of a very talented

Spanish artist who lives in Mexico:

María García-Ibañez. Also, updates

from Omar Rosales, Saúl Sánchez,

Carolina Rodríguez and Marisol

Maza. And finally, the update

of curator Kerstin Erdmann’s

portfolio, who’s been working as a

coordinator for OMR gallery, and as

an independent curator from a few

months ago.

As a recommendation, we bring you

a selection of images from pieces of

I, primate, an exhibition featured

in Centro Cultural BORDER since

the 21st of march, in Mexico City.

It presents the work of several

Living Art Room members, like

Juan Antonio Sánchez Rull, Emilio

Rangel, Saúl Sánchez, Alejandra

España, Rodrigo Imaz, Omar Arcega,

Raúl Cerrillo and Sofía Echeverri.

Our special guest in this edition

of larMagazine is Margarita

Leongómez, historian, who far


from academic discourses chose

to hand-embroider globally

known contemporary art images,

questioning with it the traditional

notions of originality, authorship

and reproduction, aligning itself with

Walter Benjamin’s proposals in his

famous text about art in the time of

its technical reproducibility.

I hope you enjoy this eight issue of

larmagazine as much as I do.

Catalina Restrepo

Director living art room

“Public art is not about oneself, but about others. It’s not

about personal taste, but about the other’s needs. It’s not

about the artist’s anguish, but about the happiness

and well-being of others. Not about the myth of

the artist, but about his civic sense… Not about

the emptiness between culture and public, but

about looking to turn art public and the artist

into a citizen again”.

(Siah Armajani)

one degree celcius, 2008



from the social field of art,

to art in the social field

by Paulina cornejo Valle

Torolab was founded by Raúl

Cárdenas in the mid 90’s, a

research and contextual studies

workshop/lab that focuses in

diagnosis and the use of art as a tool to

improve the inhabitant’s quality of life, an

initiative that added to the diverse proposals

that later on would put Tijuana in the

country’s most movable cultural epicenter.

Today, after 15 years of work, Torolab has

explored a great deal of themes in public and

private spaces through the use of different

strategies and numerous collaborations

with multidisciplinary teams. Even if those

proposals have distinguished themselves for

their conceptual complexity, they have also

achieved to position themselves effectively

in social contexts, extending far beyond the

institutional frame and of easily predictable


Torolab’s proposals, the so-called Territories

in conflict, are born from a tension inherent to


the politic, personal, collective, environmental,

knowledge, cultural, economic, social or

spatial limits or frontiers, whose breakpoints

are sensitive to reconfigure new territories in

order to generate new local models based on

process and collaboration.

With this, Raúl Cárdenas has achieved a

flexible platform that allows collaborations

between specialists (engineers, geologists,

chemists, nutritionists, architects,

sociologists, anthropologists, agronomists,

etc.), institutions and communities,

who work together for the creation of

mechanisms that, through critical dialogue

and participation, suggest alternatives able

to detonate gradual change processes on a


Regarding the international scene, Torolab’s

work enters in the kind of public actions

that, from the beginning of the 90’s, have

focused on conditions specific to the place

(economic, social, political, cultural, etc.)

that have been designated as contextual,

participative, and communitarian new genre

public art, or art in public interest, among

others. Despite the gradual acceptance of

these projects, there is still a discussion

going on, fed by the diversity of visions

and perspectives, the skepticism, the lack

of understanding, the difficulty to evaluate

its effectiveness, and the questions about its


Within the Mexican context, this

controversy has been reflected on

the difficulty to find the conditions,

institutional support and financing to make

the interventions, partly because of the

impossibility to justify the expenses to the

circles of art, used to immediate results and

to the consumption of finished products.

Before this outlook, Torolab represents an

essential precedent, as well as a mandatory

reference to social insertion art in Mexico,

since it has made great efforts in the

management and search for synergies for


the realization of long term projects. It has

also shown coherence in its career which,

after being recognized in cultural spaces

and first rate colleges in the US and France,

slowly builds up a proper following in


Torolab has developed, as a creative

platform for connecting processes, complex

initatives oriented to specific results, such

as One Degree Celsius (2008), Homeland

(2009) and Granja Transfronteriza (in


One Degree Celsius bets to the power of

transforming green areas into strategic

sites, as well as recreational and activation

spaces, because of the possibility these

have to replicate infinitely to achieve a

gradual environmental change that, in

a metaphorical sense, would diminish

global temperature one degree Celsius

in a long term. This proposal is based on

the study of the relationship between the

human body, urban traces, weather and its

impact on the mood and quality of life. It

proposes a replicable model of strategic

interventions designed for each context, to

take advantage of the “spaces”, the empty

or abandoned territories of the urban trace,

to recover them as green areas, to improve

communities and establish micro weather



Developing since 2009, Homeland/

territorios del hogar is a project that looks for

alternatives for the economic and cultural

survival of the Iu Mien, an agricultural

community from China that, after several

displacements through Vietnam, Laos and

refugee camps in Thailand, established in

Oakland, California. This initiative develops

strategies that seek to preserve not only

the community’s agricultural knowledge,

but also the memory of their journey

and cultural heritage, while generating

sustainable life forms that avoid the

migration to other jobs. In 2011 a second

farm was made active, looking to become

a space for harvesting not only food, but

knowledge, working under the idea that Iu

Mien farmers turn into masters while doing

their work, while the farm becomes a school

to their visitors.

Finally, the most recent project, also the

most complex and ambitious, is Granja

Transfronteriza, which not only alludes

to a frontier territory destined to the

agricultural activities of a community,

but to the metaphoric space where the

limits of different disciplines are blurred

in favor of an interdisciplinary knowledge

exchange. Working with immigrant

communities in different states, some

of them in Camino Verde, Tijuana (the


community with the highest food poverty

rate in Baja California), Torolab elaborated

a diagnosis that studies the relationship

between income, capacities, territory and

food culture. The objective is to design

integral strategies and sustainable economic

models that, through interventions that take

advantage of the immigrants’ agricultural

securitree, 2004

knowledge, achieve to impact in the

families’ incomes, as well as in health and

nutrition, while stimulating creativity and

learning in the community. The project has

the support of public institutions, local,

state and federal authorities, and civil

organizations that have summed to the



Artistic, or social development practices?

For many people, from common citizens to

specialists, projects like the above mentioned

generate uncertainty about the relevance of

its development from the artistic scene and

its effectiveness, since it is considered a social

work that does not concern art and therefore

must be promoted by good will and social

development institutions. Although there

are many unachieved actions that have not

been effective either in the metaphorical

or practical level (as in any other kind

of practice), I would like to present the

reasons why I consider that some specific

interventions in this field, Torolab’s for the

case, are inserted into an artistic, relevant

and effective practice, that must be taken

into account for their capacity to generate

processes that bring forth new perspectives

and change-inducing mechanisms.

1. autonomy. While the efforts of social work are focused on

generating a development through granted assistance, art uses

strategies that allow it to intervene in reality and to function

on multiple levels that go from symbolic action (detect

tensions, make ironic statements, problematize, denounce),

to specific products/mechanisms able to trigger an impact on

the community. More than a provider, art acts as a mediator.

2. integral nature. Unlike projects generated from social development

institutions -with bonds limited to getting results from granted

support-, artistic platforms have the capacity to effectively address

various needs, through the transversal collaboration of different actors.

3. artistic nature. The starting point, which makes social art

practices radically different from social development efforts, is

the intention to creatively intervene contexts with a processbased

and participative approach. In these works the artist goes

from being a solitary author to a committed citizen, while the

“audience” is no longer a passive receptor of a self-referential

object, but a co-author and active collaborator of the work.

4. dialogue. The dialogic relations and the building process of

the artwork are based in communication, which allows the

exchanging of ideas, motivates reflections regarding relations


with context, and reinforces the social fabric

through the creation of stronger community

links. In many cases, the topics to be discussed

or the finding of solutions are not as relevant, as

the process of interaction among participants.

5. originality. Working from the autonomy of art

provides the possibility to respond uniquely and

creatively to tension or conflict situations. The

languages of art in social contexts can generate specific

platforms of activation, which intervene the everyday

and contribute in the solution of collective problems.

6. Visibility of conflicts. Artistic initiatives in social

contexts have the potential to intervene in issues

related to other fields, making visible the invisible

or ignored. Likewise, they provide new perspectives

that do not only offer a deeper and different

understanding of things, but can also facilitate the

negotiation of collective issues between the parties



Paulina cornejo Moreno-Valle

(México dF, 1979)

Graduated in Art History at the University

of Barcelona. From 2003 to 2007 she served

as Deputy Director of the Museum Curator

and Research Muros in Cuernavaca, where

she was responsible for the Jacques and

Natasha Gelman’s Collection of Modern

and Contemporary Mexican Art. Since

2006, she is been focused on research about

cultural policies implemented in Mexico

and other countries of Central and South

America aimed at the professionalization

of practices such as curators, researchers and

art criticism. From 2008 to 2010 he served

as co-curator of the project RESIDUAL

/ artistic interventions in the city, a

collaborative project of the Department of

Visual Arts at UNAM and the Goethe-

Institut Mexiko to sensitize the public

about shared responsibility involved in

waste management, and contribute to

regeneration the ownership sense of people


COMA, 2006

homeland, Iu Mien Farm Tapes, 2011

Finally, I would like to recall that Torolab’s bet, and also of

those of us who believe in the urgency of linking certain

artistic practices to everyday life through intervention

and participative processes, does not reside on a messianic

conception of art and the artist; it lives in the possibility of

generating reflections from the microscale that, at least, can

put down the indifference of the inhabitants and, in the best

case, stimulate critical thought and motivate an action capable among others.

of detonating the transformation of our physical and social

territories. This is what Beuys meant when he talked about

construction in a collective order, or a social sculpture where the individual

becomes the architect or artist of his own destiny.

fotos: Cortesy of the artist


on public spaces. She currently works as an

independent researcher and curator in projects

focused on activation and social art. Paulina

has been invited as a lecturer in curatorial

programs about public art at the National

School of Plastic Arts at the Academy of San

Carlos in Mexico, at the Universidad de los

Andes in Bogotá, Santo Tomas University

in Medellin, among others. She has worked

for different publications such as Código, La

Tempestad, Equilibrio, Arquine y ArtNexus,



Rodrigo Facundo (Colombia)

María García-Ibañez (España)



Drawings HPF, 2011

MarÍa garcÍa-ibaÑeZ

Under the last stratus


by Iván Buenader

María García-Ibáñez’s work evidences and

enjoys two usually confronted moments:

that of the primary design, inspirational,

clean and scientific, and that of the time

passed over things that existed, exposed to

real life and to everything that once laid

over them. To look at her pieces is to ask

ourselves if we are facing a present and active

experimentation, or a series of findings

that must be treated with archeological

attention to detail. Inside the pieces there

is medullar liquid as delicate and precious

as porcelain, impossible to remove, just

like the genetic information underlying in

a landscape. The material chosen to build

these pieces makes us conscious of our vital

cycle, of our inevitable return to earth and


the possibility of one day becoming part of

a clay jar or a sculpture, with all its strengths

and weaknesses.

María makes an empirical research that

tries to reach the very cell, the essence of

the structure, but from learned female

indications, questioning them with the

vehemence of one who digs under a

mountain, dissects a child to see what’s

inside, peels the bones of a hand or examines

people’s heads as a creature looking for

fleas. In the process, the artist discovers that

everything is made up of layers, and that

under the last one there is one more, which

probably is not the last.


Drawings HPF, 2011


Drawings HPF, 2011


Series Windgaelle, 2011


Series Windgaelle, 2011


Instalación Estrato, 2011


sleepwalking project, 2008/10


Sistema migratorio”, 2011


the hands, 2011


Bones, stones, flowers, 2011


De la serie “Mutantes aeromarinos”, 2011

RodRigo fAcundo

in search of lost memories

and identities

ivonne Pini

If there is one characteristic that marks recent

Latin American art it is the eclecticism with

which the more or less recent past is taken

and mixed in. That attitude is accompanied

by an experiential posture: the weight of

one’s own experience. If we assume that

the past is the space for interpretation,

memory acquires a special significance: it is

that which allows one to pick and discard.

It is one of the various elements that

construct identity and can be seen from two

perspectives: a more personal and subjective

one, referring to our memories, and another

one that is more closely linked to rationality,

Which is to say, that which provides us with

information. Both memories are present in

each of us; both influence our behavior and

are difficult to separate despite the fact that

the first moves in the private sphere and the

second in the public.


So given the subjectivism and the

experiential attitude already mentioned,

various artists see the pasts as a stage for a

series of individual and collective memories

with which they can relate themselves, most

often in order to reinterpret them. To look

at the past, to rediscover it, allows one to

assume difference with others and thus, to

assume characteristics of identity.

Rodrigo Facundo (1958, Ibagué, Colombia)

aims to produce a meditation that transcends

his personal history, in proposing to analize

those signs that form part of the collective,

centering his inquiry on a space that seeks

to understand what is exterior to the self,

avoiding remaining stuck in the narcissism

of self contemplation.

l have always been interested in domestic

life. Those images one finds in family

photo collections, in department store

catalogues… I take nothing from them but

the taste, what I like about that image, I feel

like a catalyst for all the images circulating

in whatever place I find myself… I select

those images consciously. That is how I

find the signals(1):

What relationship exists between the

notion of knowing who we are and the

form in which we handle memories? This

is a question that appears again and again as

the background for the formulation of his

concepts. Reality becomes for him a space

in which to reconstruct a world outfitted

with archivistic resources storing images

that reclaim and recontextualize

In the early nineties his initial painting was

making room for highly textured surface

in which photographs were combined.

Reflecting on a statement by Susan Sontag

All photographs are memento mori. To take

a photograph is to take part in the mortality,

vulnerability, mutability of another person or

thing ( 2) Facundo takes the photographic

image as a reflection of the past.

It is the possibility of showing a moment

or the passage of time and they possess the

double alternative of being presence and

memory for they permit the longing for or

recomposition of another reality. They are

the trace left by an instant that has passed.


In his series ‘Instante y huellas” (“Instant

and Traces”) from 1991, he combined

two elements charged with meaning:

photography and clay, producing objects

that sought to have a direct impact on our

senses. By concealing the photographic

processes, he left the spectator to find them,

lost among the features of the clay. And

from them emerged characters from art

history, anonymous figures, natural disasters

preserved by photographic memory from a

certain oblivion (3).

The sensation of a funereal place, of a place

of loss and the experience of mourning,

becomes concrete in works like Luz Perpetua

(Perpetual light) and 108 (4) from 1992.

The violence and the memory of those

who have disappeared becomes a constant

for those living daily reality of Colombia.

Facundo attempts to sublimate this daily

reality, to took at it in a more poetic manner,

to reorganize it, recomposing the memory

fragments. Within small niches laid out in

rows, as they appear in cemeteries, he placed

photographs blurred by the film of paraffin

with which he covered them. Past time,

memory, became present for our perception.

The material the support was made of

cracks and all that is left—as in reality—

is the emotive nature with which present

time charges those ecstatic images of the

past. And the meaning of the photography

changes: it is no longer the image that is

looked at indifferently in a newspaper

that illustrates acts of violence. The frozen

presence of the anonymous face seeks to

incite the spectator to experience mourning

as well, now a collective mourning.

Perhaps remenbering the reflections of

Baudrillard regarding objects, Facundo

begins in 1993 to combine everyday objects


De la serie “Sociepez”, 2010

Phantographies, 2010

with anonymous figures. His Objetos

Melancolicos (Melancholic Objects) are

cut out figures, printed on paper or fabric,

coated with wax and

set among house hold plants. Leaning

against the wall they produce a sensation

of fragility, of lightness, of possible

disappearance. Objects like revolvers,

bones, picture frames, are

camouflaged and allude as much to

domestic violence as to external violence.

There are the objects that accompany

man, like his trace and his memories.

Photography helps him probe the feeling

and function of the everyday object but it

also allows him to reconstruct history and

death ends up recognized in an object that

invites reflection.

In I 995, utilizing large format canvass

and making use of mixed media, he looks

into other possible gazes onto the passage

of time. Photography doesn’t lose its

central role and in works like El rey de los

animales (The King of Animals) and Cocos (

Coconuts) he incorporates big photographic

enlargements that take as their initial

referents images taken from religious

iconography of the colonial period. I

know that there are prejudices against the

figurative in painting. But I know that in this

place where I live, a visual culture prevails

that comes from the colonial period. It is a

period that formalized a culture of naivete

and produced the people we are. That is

why my images use the colonial visual code

that was basically for images of worship. I

know that by combining different images in

the pictorial space that what I am doing

is switching temporal and social codes. In

the end, all of my images are borrowed and

sometimes I ask myself: what here is not

borrowed? (5)


And since memory is recovery, it is not

forgetting, he goes on bringing those images

into the present era. The fragments are set:

in a new context in which the mixture of

reality, subconscious personal experiences,

and collective memories is not missing.

In November of 1997, Facundo mounts

an exhibit in the space of the Santa Fe

Gallery in Bogota, an installation entitled

En la punta de la lengua (On The Tip of The

Tongue). In the exhibit catalogue he explains

the following parameters of his inquiry:

The distance that exists between our personal

memories and the history of our country is more

complex than the distance that exists between a

“now” from which we remember and a “before”

that is remembered. Personal memories and

our understanding of history start to create a

map whose composition is based on distinct,

mutually exclusive languages and in both cases

space manifests itself in a drastically opposed

fashion. This dichotomy allowed me to come to

the con1usiorr that our history takes place, in

two parallel realities: in absence and inwardly.

By “absence” I mean the way we constitute

ourselves as passive witnesses of a history

that is constructed using external elements

as an official story that becomes an

imposed, foreign memory. In a parallel

fashion individual memory is developed

“inwardly,” with a unique character and

virtually impossible to transcribe . . .(6)

This extended quote allows the reader

to come closer to the concept that lay at

the base of the research for this project:

the recognition of the coexistence of two

parallel levels of memory. Such is his

reflection on the particular situation in

Colombia in which memory is fragmented

and broken apart in a society with a

proclivity to amnesia. And without wishing

to arrive at singular answers regarding how

to construct a national identity he attempts

in his work to show the encounters and

separations existing between collective

memory and the subjective and personal

map of autobiographical memory. The

proposed goal in these meetings from

diverse dimensions is to begin to remember,

questioning with its images an official story

that runs the risk of becoming an imposed


In his use of three key words places ,

people, and thoughts- he chooses a series

of images provided by his family album and

by the documentation of historic events in

addition to the emblems, flags, and even

cartoons that in one way or another provide

a graphic summary of events.

Because history so frequently .attempts to

immortalize itself through monuments that

become spaces with the peculiar quality of

eternalizing memory, Facundo takes up this

notion and the reworked images to create

his own monuments. Without forsaking his


interest in photographic documentation, he

seeks for resources in various techniques of

visualization used in the nineteenth century,

important antecedents in the development

of cinema. His research on devices like the

stereoscope and the zootrope formed the

foundation for his circular Arquitectura del

eco (Architecture of Echo) and Recuerdo de

las formas ambiguas (Memory of Ambiguous


Assuming that memory allows us to gather

together very personal fragments of reality~

Facundo very rapidly “shoots” images

that, through the means of metaphor, are

transformed and converted into symbols

diametrically opposite to their originals.

There is an intention to make manifest

how certain values associated with certain

symbols are subverted by the passage

of time: abundance, poverty, freedom

oppression, and so on. It is as if he wished

place us once again before the past so we

might be capable of reclaiming ourselves

from the amnesia and able to discover and

understand the real history beyond the

traditional accounts.

And in this gaze, aimed equally at collective

history as at the personal, there continues

to be an aspect of a search for identity. That

return to history is a return to the sources,

to the public spirit as well as the spiritual

heritage of the nation. He doesn’t seek

46 Princesas de otoño, 2007

47 Phantographies, 2010

to create an imaginary one so much as to

reconstruct it through new perspectives.

In 1998, his inquiries have led him to

propose a series of Anonimos (Anonymous),

attaching histories to fictitious characters,

as they approximate certain attitudes one

can find in everyday life and which form

part of the recognizable stereotypes. And

there again appear memory and identity

in the way that through his images he

intends to show how a contrasting duality

exists between the external ideals shown

by publicity like models of happiness, of

individual achievement, and the reality

people actually live.

The sources for his images come from

magazine and newspaper advertisements

and his visual discourse has the opposite

effect from publicity: instead of announcing

utopias they announce desperation. With

digitally manipulated images, he burns

offset plates which function not as the basis

for a mass-produced piece but rather as the

matrix of the piece. To it he incorporates, in

the style of an assemblage, cut-out objects.

Skepticism seems to be gaining ground in

Facundo’s work and the text by Baudrllard

that accompanies his “Desilusionada”

(“Disillusioned”) could be the frame of

reference by which to conceptualize the



You have the illusion you exist for something

and to break the continuity of nothingness.

But deep down you know that you don’t add

anything to the nothingness of the world,

for you form a part of it. Out of fear of

not desiring anything you would prefer to

desire nothingness. Existence is that which

one doesn’t have to give oneself over to. It

has been given to us as a consolation prize,

and there is no need to believe in it (7).

Facundo seeks not only to explain the

past but also to understand the present,

concerned with the accelerated ideological

and political destabilization due to the crisis

in social identities.

The past has been his connecting theme,

exploring the use of materials and

techniques extracted from the material

culture, from everyday life, from collective

imagination. And in the recovery of valid

resources for creation there are no innocent

representations of the past, as thought of

as much from a perspective of inquiry into

identity as of a questioning of the accounts.



1. Text by Rodrigo Facundo in the exhibit

catalogue Por mi raza hablara el espiritu

(Mexico-Colombia, April-June 1996, 19)

2. Susan Sontag, Sobre la fotografia (On

photography) (Editorial Sudamericana:

Buenos Aires, 1977) 25.

3. Ivonne Pini, Rodrigo Facundo, Juan Fernando

Herran, Doris Salcedo:al rescate de la memoria,

“Atlantica, no. 15, invierno 1996, Centro

Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Canary Islands,


4. The title refers to the 108 policemen murdered

in Medellin and was made with photographs

that had appeared en newspapers.

5. Exhibit catalogue, “Por mi raza”, 19.

6. Exhibit catalogue, “En la punta de la Lengua”

Santa Fe Gallery, Bogota, 1997.

7. Adapted by Facundo from the text by Jean

Baudrillard in El crimen perfecto, Editorial

Anagrama, 21-22.

ivonne Pini

Proffesor at the National University of

Colombia. Executive Editor for Art


53 Phantographies, 2010


Sketch, 2008


Sketch, 2008


En la punta de la lengua, 1997


Retratos grafológicos, Status Specials, 1998




between independence and dependence

by Franklin aguirre

The Bogota´s Venice Biennale

National Prize to New Visual Arts


Department of Culture of



The Bogota’s Venice Biennale has realized, from 1995 to the present,

a dynamic function between art and the city: to extend the

contemporary artistic production to new spaces and audiences;

to set out its practices as means of possible interaction and communication

with unknown territories and communities by moving the attention of cultural

production to the Venice Neighborhood in South Bogota. It also distinguishes

itself for being a project with non homogenous urban groups, without having a

paternalist or assistive political culture.

The Biennale has been pioneer in its way of using the urban spaces as an artistic,

curatorial and management lab, one that builds a community as a space for

the interchange of ideas, dreams and knowledge. On those terms, it represents

a change in perspective that has taken artists to overwhelm the studio production,

rethink their activities in the urban space and their relationships with

society. In that sense, it represents initiatives that understand contemporary art

as a reinvention of the autonomy notion, which instead of taking for granted

the inherited territory of a discipline, proposes different operations and freeing

practices that question the social and cognitive limits, as well as the valuation

and definition of arts.

Born from a game of words (The Bogota’s Venice Biennale), it has created a

decisive symbolic operation by transforming the marginal into central. In each

of its five editions, it has been a meeting place that connects the international

biennales circuit and other artistic events with the local. Even though it

involves the participation of artists from many continents, the Biennale still


epresents a space for the other,

where the artistic, pedagogic

and recreational becomes alive,

and evidences the artist’s social

function as a dynamic agent of


Because of this, we unanimously

give the 2005 National

Prize to New Visual Arts

Practices in Visual Arts to

The Bogota’s Venice Biennale

which, after ten years of

existence, has been relevant to

Visual Arts in Latin America

and is a precedent for other

regional events. The Biennale

convincingly proposes the experimental,

political, conceptual

and organizational value

of new artistic practices.

Prize Act of the Jury

Cuauhtémoc Medina

Gloria Posada

Miguel Rojas Sotelo



The Biennale was born in Bogota in 1995, as a chance to extend the art field to

new spaces and audiences. The Biennale can also be seen as a halftime show, an

open sentence, a multi-disciplinary lab, a cultural construct, or a work in progress.

This event started as a word game towards Italy’s Venice Biennale, but unlike its

European referent, the BVB states another kind of relationship with the spectators

by actively involving them on the process of creation, realization, circulation and

insertion of artistic practices that take place in it. Far from being a simple display

of autobiographical works, so usual in museums and galleries, The Bogota’s Venice

Biennale is an event that has taken the neighborhood as its basic theme, extended

today to the town of Tunjuelito (1) , in South Bogota. Besides, this event has turned,

with the passing years, in a symptomatic display for contemporary Colombian art

and its relationship to the usual, the local, the neighborhood and the urban.

The in situ character of the Biennale has shaped its sense, as well as the relational

artistic projects that happen there.



The Bogota’s Venice Biennale (BVB) takes place because it is considered

important that pedagogical projects are developed from and towards

the community through artistic practice, such that aim to provide the

neighborhood with symbolic-cultural spaces. This new context will allow

potential expressions and cultural practices born from the inside to be

developed and optimized.

The BVB’s mission is to draw the artists and the community together

through a pedagogical strategy that takes art as its central activity, and is

articulated in the neighborhood context. Within the Biennale, pedagogy

is a space where different knowledge around art, its role and its audiences,

circle and confront. The BVB supports the community’s self-search

to transform its way of life, exploring new elements of day to day life

interpretation, as well as new references to read and experiment this

relation with the urban space, the neighborhood and itself.

This is how the BVB brings new elements and strategies to the efforts

of different sectors, social, public, professional and academic, to update


concepts and practices of the community. For the participant artists, this

represents a different commitment with the work’s consequences, since the

Biennale proposes the search of other solutions, conditions and fields of action

for their projects in a unique scenery: the neighborhood.

Venice, the

neighborhood and

tUnJUelito, the


The Venice Neighborhood belongs to the 6th Tunjuelito Locality in South

Bogota. This locality is limited by Puerto Aranda and Kennedy on the north,

Ciudad Bolívar to the west, Usme and Ciudad Bolívar to the south, and

with the locality of Rafael Uribe to the east.

Initially, Tunjuelito was a Ranch owned by Don Pedro Nel Uribe. He then

sold it to Don Jorge Zamora Pulido, who farmed it and gradually turned it

into a capital neighborhood. In the early twentieth century, it was common

to see artisanal brick factories on that sector. Today, the industry remains on

the sector, although it has raised its technical level. Tunjuelito is crossed by a

river of the same name, one which features complex pollution problems due


to the farming houses that use it to deposit waste in improvised black

water sewers, built by the informal housings and by other commercial

enterprises such as mechanical workshops, car washes, etc.

Tunjuelito’s first population came from Santander, Boyacá and

Cundinamarca, as a basic consequence of the forced displacement due

to the violence of the times, the 1940s. This mixture of regions turned

the locality into a diverse and rich place that, due to its high “floating”

population (people who work in the locality but do not live there) lacks

homogeneity in their social practices and distinctive features. Despite

this, there are some peculiarities in the locality, like the emblematic

residential place El Tunal, the Tunal Park with its mega library, Venice

Neighborhood’s great commercial and industrial activity, and the

sector’s strategic placing, a gateway to an important Township of the


Tunjuelito has around 198,000 inhabitants, distributed in more than 30

residential compounds and 19 neighborhoods. The Tunal Metropolitan

Park, the Police Academy, the Artillery Academy and the industrial

zone are part of the context, which coexists with the locality and its




at PAGE 170




Omar Rosales (Méxco)

Saúl Sánchez (Colombia)

Caroina Rodríguez (Colombia)

Marisol Maza (México)


oMar rosales


Controlled expansion, 2010


Suspension points , 2011


Ambiguous color, 2011

saúl sáncheZ


Duck or Rabbit, 2011


Paciencia, astucia, prudencia, 2011


Esto es solo para un museo, 20112011


Constante pero esforzado ejercicio de repetición, 2011


Duck or Rabbit, 2011


Vitamina D series, 2012

carolina rodrÍgUeZ

Genealogía, 2011


Genealogía, 2011


Genealogía, 2011


Marisol MaZa






Before After, 2011


107 My Monsters 2010


109 My Monsters 2010






Kerstin Erdmann (Alemania)


Kerstin Erdmann


emen, alemania / 1979

She held a Bachelor of Art Degree in

Culture Studies from Europa Universität

Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

and a Masters Degree in Art Studies from

Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City.

Currently works as Coordinator at the

OMR gallery, where she is responsible for

registration and control of work, coordination

of exhibitions and fairs, public relations

and Institutional links. Previuosly Kerstin

was Head of International Relations at the

University Museum of Contemporary Art

(MUAC), and guest curator at the Museo

de Arte Carrillo Gil and the MACAY

Foundation, Mérida, Yucatán.

She has worked as an independent

curator of the projects, for example;

White Noise (Gabriel de la Mora) at


Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca

(2011), Lie. Cheat. Steal. (Arturo Vega) at

OMR gallery (2011), Nan Goldin, and Lo vi

con mis propios ojos (Tom Früchtl) within the

FIAC (Contemporary Art Festival), Leon,

Guanajuato (2009), 2 suitcases, nothing to declare,

during Cali Contemporaneo in Cali,

Colombia (2009), Interior-Exterior at Futurama,

Mexico (2009) and Vistazo. La transformación

de lo cotidiano at Museo de Arte

Carrillo Gil, Mexico (2008).

She is the author and coordinator of diverse

exhibition catalogs and articles about

contemporary art, artists, exhibitions and

art market. She has participated in numerous

art conferences, symposia and congresses

and has been a reader and commentator

of undergraduate and graduate theses.



Gilberto Esparza, Plantas Nómadas, 2010


Gilberto Esparza, Plantas Nómadas, 2010


Jerónimo Hagerman, Camino, 2010


Mónica Espinosa, Espíritus elementales, 2007


Amor Muñoz

Proyecto Maquila Región 4, 2010-2011

Curated by Kerstin Erdmann and Ariadna Ramonetti

Exhibition: Lo escuché y lo olvidé, lo vi y lo entendí,

lo hice y lo aprendí, 2010

Ex Convento de San Hipólito

fotografías Marco Casado

Curated by Kerstin Erdmann

Exhibition: White Noise, 2011

Gabriel de la Mora

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca MACO,

Oaxaca, México

photographs: Courtesy of the artist and OMR Gallery








Text by David Gremard Romero




Some thoughts on

the work of



From first seeing her piece,

the hand-embroidered copy of a

Takashi Murakami print in the living

room of Cata’s house, I felt that the

painting embodied certain ideas that

teased at my brain with complex ideas

revolving around representation and

the meaning of authenticity in the work

of art. I was happy yesterday to have

the opportunity to talk about this piece,

and the one she is currently working on

which is a copy of a photograph of a

piece by Jeff Koons, with Cata, yesterday

during our exploration of Mexico City. It


allowed me to crystalize some ideas that

had been forming in my brain regarding

her work, and why I liked it so much.

To begin, the piece is extraordinarily

beautiful. It is an image of hundreds

of cartoon flowers with manic faces,

like a drugged vision of an early

Disney cartoon, rendered the more

so by the thick and luscious texture

of the brilliantly colored thread she

uses to do the embroidery itself. This

is in contradistinction to the original

Murakami. I am not sure precisely what

the source is, but I imagine a print,

which, if so, would have been flat and

computer generated, with absolutely

no texture. The embroidered version is

deeply textured, and clearly made by


hand, over hundreds of hours, filled

with the idiosyncrasies and lovely

imperfections which are the inevitable

result of the hand-made piece, while

the original is flat (in fact, Superflat, as

the artist calls his brand of painting),

clearly embraces modern, technical

means of production, and

is machine made. It is not

without a certain irony

that the version made

by Cata’s mother must

certainly have taken an

unimaginable amount

of time to make, while

the original, so lovingly

copied, must surely have

taken a great deal less.

It is telling that the two

pieces thus far conceived

are both by artists whose

work is specifically conceived in a

mode which rejects traditional ideas

of authorship in the work of art. Both

artists work with studios who execute

their works, so that it is not uncommon

that the artist will not have touched a

piece at all, until the time comes to place


upon it his signature. The conception of

the artist is given primacy, and the work

of the hands, the craftsmanship itself, is

considered irrelevant to the meaning of

the final piece.

This conception of art has its origin,

or was first articulated, in the work of

Walter Benjamin, prior to world war II.

He described the original, traditional

work of art as possessing an aura, which

is imbued by the hand of the artist and

in effect transforms the work of art into

a reliquary or sacred object, because

of its absolute uniqueness. However,

because of the new, modern ability

to reproduce art through mechanical

means, images of art would become

“ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial,

available, valueless, and free,” and the art

piece itself would come to be stripped

of its aura of value and meaning. I

think that this prediction of the work

of art in the modern age was always

doomed to fail, in part because the

uniqueness and meaning of the original

work is altered, but not destroyed, by

its mechanical reproduction, and partly

because of the voracious ability of

capitalism to commodify the object and

create value where none should exist.


What Benjamin described was a new

form of visual meaning in the world,

which did not destroy the old order,

but merely came to coexist along side it.

Thus, Murakami’s prints are made in a

computer, without ever being touched,

physically, by the hand of the artist. An

indefinite number could theoretically be

produced, all identical to each other, but

instead they are made in limited

editions and hand-signed by

the artist (which provides the

“aura” and transforms them

into “unique” objects). This is

an artificial means of creating

value, in order to accommodate

the market. There is no

“original” in a Murakami print,

but a grouping of 1’s and 0’s

in a commuter monitor, thus

bringing into stark reality

Benjamin’s conception of the



work of art as existing

only as a reproduction,

only an illusion, but

one which in the

end comes to have

great value through

the inevitable

manipulations of

a capitalist system.

The deep irony in

the appropriation of

the print by Cata’s

mother is that where there was

literally no original, no aura but the

one falsely devised by a market, she

has created one which is indeed,

inarguably, almost fetishistically

hand-made, unique, and impossible

to separate from the hand of the

living artist, as each of the many

thousands of threads patiently and

painfully attest. The work becomes a

visual paradox; it is a copy of the work

of another artist; it is purely original,

because no original exists to be copied.

It creates the value that had never

existed, the aura which had never been,

but by copying an idea which does

not actually exist. It brings into focus

the anxiety which exists at the heart

of Walter Benjamin’s argument; that

in a world of illusions brought about

through capitalism and mechanical


reproduction, what is the original sign,

or referent, which relates the image in

this world of images we now reside in, to

a human scale, and a human meaning?

Cata’s mother creates that meaning,

with her hands, imbuing an illusion

with human reality, thought, and labor.

This is in a tradition of critique by artists

which extends back a least to the 80’s. In

particular, I have been thinning of Sherrie

Levine. In her famous 1980 exhibition at

the Metro Pictures Gallery, titled “After

Walker Evans,” she hung in the gallery

untitled pieces which were photos she

had taken of Evans photographs, from

his book, “Let us Now Praise Famous

men.” She subsequently had exhibitions

in which she presented photographs

taken of photographs of paintings by Van

Gogh and others in art history textbooks.

These pieces are a rather cold illustration

of Benjamin’s ideas, and illustrate the

extent to which it is impossible to see

the original work of art any longer, for

we are so exposed to reproductions

that the original disappears behind it;

even when looking at the original, say,

for example, the Mona Lisa in Paris,

it is impossible to separate it from the

many reproductions in books and on

mugs, posters, T-shirts and the

rest. The commodified image

becomes the reality. What is

true of the Mona Lisa is true of

any other reproduced image. The

embroidered Murakami represents

that triumph of illusion; it is as

though all of the thoughts of the

artist are wrapped in this illusion,

for so many countless working

hours, as she contemplates the

reproduction, which is to say, that

which does not exist. However,


herein lies another paradox, for it is within

that very act that meaning is created.

This strikes me as a metaphor of our

relationship to images in general.

Quite outside of reproductions,

outside of modern image-making

techniques, all images are illusions,

existing outside ourselves and visible

to ourselves only through the sadly

inadequate perceptions of our eyes. We

are imprisoned within our bodies, and

all images appear to us from without,

and the work of interpreting what we

see is painful, slow, and personal, like

that which Cata’s mother did in her

embroidered piece. We can none of us

truly know what it is we are looking at.


Everything that exists is in some sense

an illusion. Her painful task of making

meaning where none exists is like our

existence in this world, created stitch by


Images of previous works from

photographs of graffiti



yo, PriMate



Zacatecas 43. col roMa MeXico d.F

21.03.12 - 25.04.12



Rodrigo Imaz

Chango, 2010

The Project I, Primate is born from the

proposal of various artists –coming from

different cities and contexts- that reflect,

from the figure of the monkey, upon

situations and attitudes relative to the

human being. The pieces for this exhibit

work as a kind of projection of human

features onto different species of monkeys,

which have to do with a great variety of

references, cultural, scientific, religious,

historic and popular.

The ape (1), or monkey, has always been

directly related to man, since they both

share an evolutionary past as hominids.

This symbolic charge is linked to positive

and negative connotations. It is in

some cases related to the instinctive,

impulsive, primitive and natural part of

a human, which itself alludes to a sense

of liberty. Other times the representation

of the monkey is associated to a lack of

intelligence and manners, in other words,

the supposed antithesis to a human being,

who is hairless, straight, modern, educated

and evolved.

As a part of this investigation, a video

is shown, that compiles different clips

from youtube, related to the behavior of

both species, although this time from the

perspective of popular culture and media.


Featured Artists:

Omar Arcega, Raúl Cerrillo, Sofía

Echeverri, Alejandra España, Rodrigo

Imaz, Emilio Rangel, Gabriela Rodríguez,

Juan Antonio Sánchez- Rull, Saúl Sánchez

Curator: Catalina Restrepo Leongómez

1 Ape is a common term, without a taxonomical equivalent, which is used to name a wide group of ape-like primates. Ape and

monkey are originally Spanish synonyms, although there is a tendency to separate their meanings in English.1.


Alejandra España,

El transcurso de la vida, 2006



Saíl Sánchez

What is paintig?, 2011



Sofía Echeverri,

Serie Saturninos, 2012



Raúl Cerrillo

Cheesewiz, 2010

Flor de loto, 2010



Alejandra España

Changuilocuente, 2007

Emilio Rangel

Serie: Chimpancé fisicoculturista, gay,

metrosexual, 2007



Omar Arcega

Homídidos, 2009



Gabriela Rodríguez

Historia Natural, 2011



Juan Antonio Sánchez-Rull

Casa Darwin, 2009

Living Art Room

success stories

Initiatives, projects, publications, spaces, galleries and

projects that inspire us to move forward

- by catalina restrepo leongómez

centro cultural border


Founder: eugenio echeverría

It started in a small place located in La Roma

neighborhood in Mexico City some years

ago and is now considered a very important

space for artists from different areas, including:

Street art, electronic art, animation

and video, among others. A main aspect of

BORDER is its workshops, which complement

very effectively the aim to promote

artists who are selected for its active program

of exhibitions.


eXit (españa)

director: rosa olivares

It is one of the most important publications of

contemporary photography in the world. Each

issue develops a particular subject and presents

research of great interest. For the quality of its

articles and published photographers, EXIT is not

only a conventional magazine but a current theoretical

and visual reference for everyone today.

esfera Pública (colombia)

Founder: Jaime iregui

What has made this website for criticism of

contemporary art is unprecedented. Thanks to it

has been promoted in the public the interest to

stay informed, to think and question intelligently

about everything related to the artistic creation

today with the use of discourses related to the

critical point of view of artists in relation to social,

political and cultural context surrounding them.

arteria (colombia)

Founder: nelly Peñaranda

This is an initiative that came to fill a very obvious

need of specialized community and interested in

contemporary art in Bogota, Colombia. Thanks to

its content ranges from information about upcoming

openings, until very complete articles that invite

to make a serious reflection on contemporary art,

Arteria has made the general public interested in

these issues.


Museo Universitario arte contemporáneo


director: graciela de la torre

In its few years of life this area has achieved

unprecedented quality standard in the context

of museum management in Latin America. The

quality of its exhibitions of contemporary art is

indisputable, and reflects the tradition of cultural

diffusion of the UNAM. The MUAC has facilities

unrivaled in the country, and also has an auditorium,

an area of Experimental Sound, Library

and area for high quality educational activities.

other links







Living Art Room

success stories

Zona Maco

Founder: Zélika garcía

It is certainly the most important contemporary

art fair in Latin America. Its evolution has been

remarkable over their past versions and has achieved

worldwide recognition. Zona MACO has

established a quality standard so high, that exceed

by a quite a lot other similar initiatives.


oMr gallery

Founders: Patricia ortiz Monasterio y Jaime


It is one of Mexico’s most important galleries. It is

worthy of admiration its exhibition program and

the quality of its artists. Over the years the OMR

has distinguished itself by taking risks and supporting

projects that do not necessarily have the ultimate

purpose of economic gain, but have opted for

experimentation. His alternative space, called “52”,

has achieved great recognition in the short time

since it opened its doors, and is very clear evidence

of this vision.

galería nueveochenta

director: carlos hurtado

Being a relatively young Colombian gallery, it has

managed to position a large number of Colombian

artists abroad. Its management has set an example

in this country, the professionalism in the operation

of a gallery, a commitment to their collectors

and support of their artists beyond a commercial

context, creating links with major institutional

spaces such as museums, biennials and festivals.

noMínimo espacio cultural

Founders eliana hidalgo y Pilar estrada

It is a space in the Guayaquil city, Ecuador, which

has been centralized contemporary artists and has

taken the important job of educating and sensitizing

the public over everything that involves

artistic creation today.


galería nueveochenta

Founder: luis aristizábal

Probably what best distinguishes this gallery is

the vision of its founder, Luis Aristizabal, who has

been able to select artists of unquestionable quality

that today are undoubtedly the exponents of

contemporary Colombian art worldwide. The gallery

is an example of dedication and teamwork, as

artists and director collaborate in great complicity

and professionalism.

















by carlos Pérez bucio









ome years ago, a friend of mine, a

plastic arts professor, introduced me to

Le dernier cri, a French collective of

drawers and illustrators with a mission to

populate the world with visceral, sexual,

meat and homicidal images. Besides silk screen prints

and limited edition books at affordable prices, they

create animated pictures that luckily remind us there

is life beyond Pixar. Everything is made with the

highest quality standards, from the trenches of selfmanagement.

I went to meet him on his latest visit to Mexico.

Thanks to Clarisa Moura’s (director of Vértigo

Magazine) intervention, I was able to talk to Pakito

Bolino, high priest of Le dernier cri and his partner,

draftswoman Marie-Pierre Brunel


carlos Pérez bucio:

How did this exhibit came about?

Pakito bolino: Because of Jorge Alderete,

who took a peek on my workshop two

years ago, when I had an exhibition in

Aix-en Provence, on a graphic novel

festival. He came to check out Le dernier

cri’s work, saw the walls covered with

images, the books, and he told me: “as

soon as we open a new space, we´ll make

an exhibit”. Then, the idea was for Vertigo’s

inaugural exhibition to be ours, but it was

postponed, and now we are finally here, on

the second anniversary of the gallery, and

we are quite happy.

carlos: were you surprised to have

so many followers and raise so much

enthusiasm in Mexico with Le dernier cri?

Pakito: I believe, from a graphic point

of view, there are many similarities

between Le dernier cri and Mexican art,

in intention, content, color. Many of the

collective’s artists have Mexican popular

art influences, so I’m not that surprised

that our work is appreciated here.

carlos: Le dernier cri has been working

hard for 18 years now. In what context was

it born?


Pakito: I studied Fine Arts in the

province and, as many others, went to

Paris in the mid 80’s seeking to work as

an illustrator and to publish my comic

books. It was a time when the editorial

world was facing a decline, many comic

books and graphic novels ceased to exist

and the big editorial houses stopped

investing. Many authors got organized,

created self-publishing associations and

structures; Le dernier cri was one of

them. It was the first time since the 70’s

that authors got organized, edited their

own work as well as other artists’, since

there wasn’t any support for these types of


carlos: Le dernier cri has always been self

sustained, which means you´ve always had

total freedom. Have you ever applied for any

public subventions?

Pakito: .: Yes, we have applied many times

for specific projects, such as our animated

films. For the most recent, which was two

hours long, we asked support from the

PACA region (Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur)

but didn’t got it, I think because of the

fact that our work does not fit in a single

category. It seems a bit comfortable for

the deciding party to say that our work “is

not graphic novel, not art brut, nor art, not

illustration; it is a little bit of everything”,

and well, it is all that at once. I think art

should be that way, but these people have

to classify it because there is not a whole

lot of budget for this or that projects. Also,

we got a modest support from the city of

Marseille, which we used to rent a premise,

an old factory named La Friche, which

was rehabilitated as an art centre with

workshops for artists, that kind of stuff.

Fortunately, this support has allowed us

to punctually pay the rent for many years

although, since it is a modest subvention,

it doesn’t help much in developing new


Back to the self-sustaining subject, my


idea from the start was

to assemble a silk screen

printing workshop, since it

is a technique that allows

for high-quality small

number printings and, at

the same time, for artists to

get directly involved in the


carlos: and right in time

for this event, El Último

GRITO!, únicamente la

infección has just been

published, a compilation of

images made specifically by

artists celebrating le dernier cri’s visit to

Mexico. apart from correctly digesting

popular Mexican imagery, the book has

certain nods towards the reality of the

country today, the moment of violence.

did the information about the cartels,

murders, etc. had any influence on you at


Pakito: Actually the only information we

get from Mexico from a year back is about

the drug cartels wars, we get warnings

about going to certain cities because it’s

dangerous. But farther along, for example,

are Fredox’s images; he works with

clippings from popular newspapers such

as Alarma! He has come to Mexico many

times and knows all about it, but we also

like to play with stereotypes.

carlos: Politically, i place le dernier cri

among those who oppose globalization.

There’s a sequence in the film les

religions sauvages where an american

dollar passes off as a penis…

Pakito: Sure, the globalization of money,

of financial markets that control the life

of the people is a stupid thing. However,

globalization as we do it, meetings among

artists and editors from different countries,

is something that should exist on a

broader scale, it’s the positive side of that

phenomenon. It’s a good thing that people

meet, work together, create cultural bonds

and find connections, since all countries

of the world have a thing in common:

art. You just need to take a glimpse into

history, check out some of the primitive

arts. We visited the pyramids yesterday.

I saw sculptures of certain gods which

reminded me of Asian art, and even some

aspects of ancient European sculptures. It’s

like carnivals, so deeply-rooted in popular

culture around the globe: there are carnival

costumes in Switzerland which resemble

those of La diablada, in Bolivia. That’s why

I try, be it on drawing or design, to find

all of these links and show that there is

the same essence, life, even when we draw

skeletons. Skeletons are life!

carlos: In LDC, we find artists that

come from different places with different

trajectories: there are youngsters and


veterans, which may be a reflection of the

multicultural mosaic of today’s France.

Pakito: Yes, but unfortunately there

are not as many Arabian drawers as we

would like (laughs). We have people from

Finland, Japan, but the most common

are foreign artists who work from their

countries. They have this do it yourself

motivation. Like the case of Ichiba

Daisuke, from Japan, who has self edited

his work for the last fifteen years. I found

his books before I knew him. If he had

not made his books probably no one

would know him. Most of the involved

edit themselves, which creates links: first

through books, then through animated

films and the possibility of accepting

resident artists in our workshop to work on

impression. And there are the exhibitions,

of course. In my travels, I always look for

new authors that could be published in

Le dernier cri. I think that, in the future,

we could return to Mexico with a more

ambitious project.

carlos: Speaking of Young artists, we have

Marie Pierre here. Mary, how did you

approached LDC?

María: When I finished art school I found

myself a little bit isolated. I started looking

for a collective for young drawers, like LDC,

to have a wider exposure; when you are on

the underground, it is very difficult to find

an editor. Collectives like Le dernier cri are

an opportunity for young artists to show

their work and publish monographic books.

That motivates us to keep on working.

carlos: I’m very happy to know that

in France there are not only artists like

Boltanski, Messager, Sophie Calle. Le

dernier cri may be one of the best things to

happen in the history of images, probably

since the time of… “Picasso!”, (claims

Bolino laughing)

Pakito: I agree. The problem with the

art market is that we are talking about a

global market. The art market is galleries

that bloat the artist’s prestige, a few elected

whose careers are under the gallery owner’s

shadows. It has always been like that, and

today is worse. For example, every day

the number of galleries that take risks

with new artists is reduced. They are not

worried of establishing a real line, such

as happened in the 1950s and 1960s. It is

tougher every day.

Contemporary art is a completely

incestuous medium; you finish art school,

a good student, accumulate residencies

around the world, while we inflate your

prestige. That is how artists are bloated.

We, for a change, are artists who first of

all have the will to show our work through

very accessible prices because we come

from the book culture, from the graphic


novels we could find for a few coins in

newspaper kiosks. As you can see, it is

not the same notion of “unique piece”,

but a notion of spreading our work in the

widest, cheapest way, to reach the largest

number of people and have a real braininfection

effect on the masses, but doing so

with intelligence.

Contemporary art is elitist; you require

certain codes to be accepted in it, while

our images are accessible to anyone. If you

give one of our books to a guy in the street

who reads Alarma!, he will get it instantly

for sure. He will even laugh, because it is

perfectly able to find the parody side of

the matter, as in Fredox’s images. Now, the

same thing in a 2 meter wide format in

a gallery would not have the same effect

or price. As a matter of fact, there is no

gallery in the world that would allow

something like that in their walls because

then the system would be at risk, since

the objectives are not similar. What ones

understand for spreading is not the same,

even when we also are willing to make

some money selling our work.

carlos: I have a friend in the art

underworld who claims that a piece can

be any thing, but the artist has to be


Pakito: Well, McCarty is interesting when

covered in shit and ketchup.

carlos: Finally, I would like to ask you:

what does a young artist needs to do to

identify with LDC, to get close to you?

Pakito: He just needs to visit www. and send us images of his

work. That’s how I got to edit Sekitani,

another Japanese artist. He first sent

me an image. I asked him for more and

he sent me his work from the previous

two years, which nobody in his country

would publish. That’s how he became

a collaborator. We keep all the contact

information from artists who get in touch

with us, and get new images when we

publish announcements for new projects.

The Mexico special will include a 10% of

artists that I don’t personally know.

carlos: As far as the immediate, what will

your next project be about?

Pakito: A compilation of drawings made

by Mexican-american prisoners. In U.S.

jails, chicanos make drawings on napkins

to send to their families, who then sell

them. Their aesthetics are related to that of

tattoos. There’s a guy who recovered more

than a hundred of these drawings, and will

make an exhibition about it, while we take

care of the catalog. That is true popular art:

prison art


for more information:

le dernier cri

Versión 1.0

continued from page 71


The first Bogota Venice Biennale was born

in a very particular moment of Bogota’s

art, where discourses and contemporary art

spaces were wearing out, reiterative in their

limitations, over-politicized and somewhat

distant. The initial idea was to move art from

the convenient and official spaces to other

less common ones, to recruit new audiences

and suggest a twist in the process of every

artist, confronting it with a specific context

by having to relate its work with the new

spectators that would read it afterwards.

Sarcasm and paradox, a consequence of the

mimetic reflection expressed from the start

by the Biennale with its Italian counterpart,

became effective publicity hooks that

massively turned the media onto the event.

The impact was such that, although many

personalities of the art world were not

present, they were indeed paying attention

to the development thanks to articles and

magazines that, from different angles,

constantly registered all that happened.

The BVB invited artists living in the

locality to show their work in these spaces

since, for obvious reasons, it was them who

could go closer and more precisely to the

reality of the space, having lived in it for

years. The remaining artists, some of them

summoned, some invited by the organizers,

permitted the coexistence of different

views and different ways to approach the


neighborhood. This dialogue between

artists of different platforms generated a

kind of camaraderie and team work around

this relational art practice that, with time,

would become one of the main qualities of

the Biennale.

During the event, the artists rewarded the

population’s support through conferences,

workshops and guided visits, which took

place freely in the BVB facilities during the

event. These activities were generally aimed

to children, adolescents and elders of the


Versión 2.0


Under the same general parameters, the

second BVB developed in the same space,

Venice Neighborhood Community Hall.

This time the artists, most of them widely

known in the national art world, proposed

to appropriate the urban spaces. This way, a

high percentage of the works were showed in

parks, stores, houses and all kinds of alternate

spaces far from the community hall, where

the pieces were first showed using the typical

habits of a gallery.

The media interest in the Biennale was justified

thanks to the quality of the participants and

the recursion of the proposals. Local artist’s

work was contrasted by that of renowned

artists. This feature forced the Biennale

to discuss a way to classify this works and

processes, something that would come into

fruition later, with the implementation of a

Local Hall, which would serve as a prelude

to the participation of local artists.

Unlike the first edition, where participation

itself was considered a prize, the second

edition prized five pieces by popular

demand, thanks to voting ballots placed at

the hall’s entrance. This time, IDCT(2) and

other entities supported the BVB. That way,

different companies started to show interest

in the event, and would subsequently support

it. Local commerce was equally interested and

thanks to it we not only got its support, but

earned the community’s trust on the Biennale.

The Biennale was set out, in the beginning, as

something eventual that took a processional

character and demanded continuity in time.

The artists and the art circle, with a growing

interest, were already talking about a third

edition. The event grew and so did the

troubles since, because of the event’s growing

dimension, the initial support was becoming

insufficient. Because of this, and from this

moment, resource management became one

of the main points in the BVB’s schedule.

171 The memory project, 2011

Versión 3.0


Our focus changed on the third edition.

Media positioning was not as important

as the approach that could be made to the

Venice Neighborhood inhabitants. The

number of local artists grew, compared to the

previous Biennales. In order to achieve this,

we contacted artists associations, informal

and independent artist organizations in

order to gather them, explain them the

project and invite them to take part. The

result was very interesting and the event was

gaining popularity in the context that gave it

birth, gradually assuring its place in Bogota’s

plastic art scene.

Artists were still interested in the urban space.

Some of the projects were about interesting

modifications made to the neighborhood

and new channels of communication, while

others made commentaries about violence

in the less favored sectors, or enunciated

proposals about the diverse paradigms of

contemporary art. The result was interesting

too, but the proposals differed in quality due to

the disparity in the performers’ background,

and the lack of a clear methodology for

the presentation and execution of artistic

projects, not only for such an event as the

Biennale, but for any Art Room. For that

reason, it was decided to follow a curatorial

line or a horizon of sense, and to invite a

group of consultants and external advisors

who would optimize this processes.

Thanks to an official link with the Istituto

Italiano di Cultura, a cultural institution

dependant of the Italian Embassy, we were


able to give a special recognition to the

winner of this edition, a round-trip ticket

to Venice, Italy. The circle was completed

that way, and the artist was able to visit the

context of the Italian Biennale and draw

its own conclusions by creating in Rome

the same piece he made in Bogota’s Venice

neighborhood, after enjoying his visit to Italy.

The media was so interested on these

particular dynamics that the Biennale’s

presence in magazines and newspapers did

not decreased. On the contrary, it drew the

attention of the international media, critics,

curators and artists. The recent interest in this

atypical process was what took the Biennale

as a study case for various academic events,

locally and internationally.

Versión 4.0

The Biennale’s high visibility at this point

generated a series of particular reactions.

A great number of the summoned artists

pretended to take part in the event without

a previous approach to the neighborhood,

something that is marked in the official

announcement. Other artists presented

works that involved public spaces and

certain communities that apparently rhymed

with the BVB’s spirit, without the least

interest on approaching the neighborhood.


Some local artists demanded their inclusion

just for living in the same neighborhood,

suggesting that the pre-selection (necessary

in any event of this kind) was a form of

discrimination. The loan of the space, gently

ceded before, was negated for this edition,

since the event’s visibility was taken by some

people as a financial aptitude, something

way far from reality. In fact, the Council

for Communal Action (3) charged an

impossible to pay rent, so it was necessary to

ent an empty commercial place to realize the

event. This presented us with many logistical

inconveniences and a certain trouble with

artists and organizers, which fortunately

were solved afterwards.

Thanks to the inclusion of the Biennale

in the Nexo Project of the Andrés Bello

Agreement, we were invited to an academic

event in the Pirelli Room for Young Art in

Caracas, in 2000. We took advantage of this

visit to invite Venezuela as a Guest of Honor

in the Biennale. Thus, the BVB became an

international event with a wider range, and

the possibility to present new perspectives

that could enrich the initial process and

promote links with important international

cultural entities. One of them, the Italian

Embassy, reaffirmed its support and offered

a gallery in the Istituto Italiano di Cultura

as an alternate space for the BVB, allowing

it to get closer to different communities and

audiences in Bogota.

This time, and to allow all artists to participate

in the “same terms”, a theme for a curatorial

line was established: Art & Gastronomy,


that with the motto: “Because not everything

enters through the eyes”, set out an interesting

discussion from a concept that, seen from

different angles and articulated in the specific

context of the Venice Neighborhood, provided

the artist with interesting tools to propose a

solid project, objectual or processal. This way

the artists, from any origin or background,

had to carry out the specific theme, make a

proposal from the neighborhood as territory

and articulate it with its process, techniques

and particular interests to officially take part

in the Biennale.

The experiment was successful and the pieces

were a lot clearer and stronger. The public

space was used in an effective way and some

local artists got into artistic events such as

the Biennale, unlike other official processes

that did not cared about the work’s relevance

within its context, but turned into simple

samples arranged in a communal space,

which only coincidence was the creators’

common geographical sector.

Versión 5.0

The Biennale was again invited to an

academic event, the discussion tables in the

ARCO Contemporary Art Fair, in Madrid,

2002, where it raised a lot of interest

because of the number of versions, the

sustaining of the initial theme and its ability

to accommodate to the new conditions of

the medium, as well as the plastic avatars in

Latin America.


In Madrid, Spain was officially invited as the

Guest of Honor for the 5th edition in 2003.

This time, the theme was America 3 for 1,

pay 1 get 3, referring to the utopia of the

union of America in a sole sovereign state,

and to the immigration phenomena that hit

Spain and other Latin American countries

around that period. It also referred to the

Colombian exodus caused by the violence,

and the informal selling strategy used in the

Venice Neighborhood streets, where sellers

usually yell: “pay 1, get 3!”

With the intention of continuing with the

process qualification program, the Biennale

implemented the creation of the first Local

Room of Venice, which became, since that

moment, a prelude to the BVB. There, local

(4) artists planned the realization of different

works under the same parameters as those

of the Biennale. They were exhibited in the

local Library El Tunal, a beautiful space that

allowed the works to be appreciated by a large

audience, mostly made up of local students.

Thanks to the Local Room, the Biennale

got meticulously close to the processes of

the local artists, took care of their execution

and created links with previous participants

such as artists, investigators and managers,

to achieve the tuning sought for since past



This version had the support of the Spanish

Embassy and the Spanish Agency of

International Cooperation for the planning

and development of these processes. The

Embassy granted the Biennale’s Prize,

which consisted of two round trip tickets

to Madrid, in order for the winner to visit

museums and cultural centers where they

could share their experiences and serve as

Ambassadors for the BVB. Sadly, two of

the winners did not return to Colombia.

After officially thanking for the support, the

Biennale made clear to the Embassy that

the winners traveled with the commitment

to return. Since then, the BVB decided to

cancel all travel prizes.

Versión 6.0


This time, the Guest of Honor was the United

Kingdom (Wales, specifically), with the

central theme Exclusion/Inclusion, attending

to the latest activities of the Biennale and

its work group tai/The art incubator (5),

which was invited to Liverpool to transcribe

the BVB’s exercise in Kensington, an area of

the city with features similar to those of the

Venice Neighborhood in Bogota.

The basic intention was around planning

strategies, solutions or designations that

took on concepts like exclusion/inclusion

as an articulating tool for the minorities to

new contexts, as a coexisting strategy or just

as a knowledge and experience interchange

that could qualify tolerance, communitarian

welfare and team work in some way.

In this edition, the Biennale took place in

a neighborhood mall. There were exhibited

references of works that appropriated the

neighborhood’s public spaces, and also some

private ones, which some citizens of Venice

kindly lend. The works were mostly exhibited

in the neighborhood, coexisting with

houses, streets and people. Some also used

closed circuit TV, the “video jukeboxes”(6) in

convenience stores, and the public TVs in

the mall.

British guest artists were Alice Forward

and Michael Cousin, who were in the

neighborhood for some weeks creating

works based on their experiences, their

particular searches and their relationship


with the context. They also presented some of

their work, and talked about their processes

in public libraries such as el tunal and el

tintal from the Biblored network, and in the

Arts Faculty of the Pontificia Universidad

Javeriana de bogota.

A great amount of public attended this

6th edition of the BVB, thanks to the

decision of using the local mall as the main

venue. Many people, especially during the

weekend, attended the exhibits and were

an active part of the Biennale. It is planned

to keep a permanent presence in this space

or in a similar one, since this will allow to

continue with the already started process

and to reinforce the relationship with the


Despite the great decisions, the need for a

specialized group for each of the areas was

evidenced, as well as the reinforcement of

the volunteers and local leadership.

Versión 6.5


In this version, we made a stop in the way to

reread ourselves and redesign new strategies

for the optimization and sustainability of the

BVB. A group of people got associated and

started the Visiva Foundation, an institution

that gave legal life to the event and that today

allows the linking of proposals generated

towards the Biennale.

The chronological walk through the BVB

allowed us to see some of the interventions

that had taken place in the neighborhood,

and the didactic activities that had occurred

alongside these projects. In the same manner,

it allowed us to take back effective strategies

and review our mission, vision, mandates and

local dynamics, national or international, for

its improvement.

On two separate platforms, the Colombian

National Artists’ Hall, and artbo, the

International Bogota Art Fair, the Biennale’s

fourteen year labor was visualized, and an

invitation was made for the public to bring

their documents, registers and experiences

in order to widen and optimize the archives

and register the memories, which would

serve as reference for students of today and



Versión 7.0

For 15 years, the BVB has established

alternate and emergency dynamics against the

usual paradigms in the work-space-audience

system, simultaneous to the development of

contemporary artistic practices in Bogota

and the rest of the country.

This time, upon turning 15 years old, the

Biennale turned to a usual social practice in

Latin America: the quince años (15 years)

party. This celebration would serve as a


metaphor to couple a series of imaginaries,

dynamics and contents that would allow us

to have a transversal look, not only of the

neighborhood and the art that’s being made

in the city, but of ourselves.

In this version, artists and collectives generated

co-construction synergies and dynamics

between a contemporary art exhibit and a

traditional birthday party; 15 teenagers from

the Venice neighborhood and its surroundings

were gathered, teenagers whose birthday was

the same day as the Biennale. The proposals

were inspired and derived from the typical

protocols for organizing these traditional

events, such as a serenade, the changing of

shoes (or the Mexican doll), the waltz, etc.

Given the mappings of these kinds of

celebrations in Latin America, Mexico’s

been present in the hybridization of different

cultures, beliefs and social customs that let

us see its multiple origins. For this and other

reasons, it was decided that Mexico would be

the Guest of Honor in the 2010 edition.

That is why the curatorial theme for this

edition was the quince años celebration,

a common practice in Latin American

societies. Thanks to this process, the BVB was

invited to Oaxaca, Mexico, to take part in the

2010 humanitas Festival, organized by the

Government of the State of Oaxaca, and to

make an artistic residency in an alternative

space called la curtiduría (7) . An interesting

experience with a group of artists –led by

Demián Flores, the director and Mónica


Villegas, the coordinator- took place; they

were able to articulate the work of these artists

towards the 15 year celebration of young Ana

Yazmín Lázaro Silva, resident of the Jalatlaco

neighborhood, in a record time.

The starting point of this practice was the

search and visualization of common areas

between both cultures by celebrating a party

that represents the symbolic step from girl to

woman, and the presentation in society of the

young woman who will soon get involved in

different social dynamics.

This was also a metaphor for the Biennale.

After 15 years of reinventing and redirecting

ourselves, and assuming new practice

dynamics that refer to our past, the BVB

registered and documented our present and

projected us into the future, a complex one

maybe, but full of possibilities.

Towards The 8.0 ediTion

Although some key words proposed in the 7th edition for the future development

of the 8.0 BVB (habits, mode and fashion), the emergence of artistic collectives

against “official production”, the need of interpretation processes for contemporary

artistic practices and the reviewing of the “Biennale” format as a hegemonic scenery,

have included different reflections in the landscape.

A special interest in artistic residencies will also be dealt with, especially its boom

as an extension of academic formation, settling as growth and specialization spaces

for emerging and established artists. Another interesting theme is the inclusion

of private companies in artistic practices, wrongly called “independent” (since we

always depend of something or someone), and their positive or negative influence

in finished cultural products.

Among different conditions that may give birth to a new Biennale is the also

clear influence of social networks in co-curatorships, where the spectators become

active agents with voice and vote. On the other hand, there is a need to implement


pedagogic and information-formation processes, optimized and continuous, with

official, legal and commercial participation from public, private and informal entities

from the sector.

*** This edition is in construction at the date of publication of this document.

alternate actiVities to the bVb



In October 2004, thanks to the kind invitation of Metal Culture, an important

cultural institution in London, TAI/The Art Incubator, the support group of the

BVB, was taken to the Liverpool, in the UK. An articulating process took place

with local communities through art, something quite similar to what took place in

the Venice Neighborhood.

The general process included a series of projects proposed independently but

related at the same time. The mission was to create a kit for pedagogic activities that

may be taken to different contexts and audiences to enrich and continue with this

adaptation and nomadic strategy, with the objective of implementing this process

to any town in Bogota, the country, or even the rest of the world.

The basic intention of this activity is to propose and execute a series of artistic

practices in a particular place with a determined group of people, in order to create

links, optimize processes, get communities closer, raise tolerance and promote

teamwork, all through art.




The Venice Museum of Bogota, planned as a neighborhood museum, seeks to

establish itself as an open, dynamic, inclusive and versatile space. Through visual

arts in their most open manifestations, we search for a perfect scenario where

communities of a particular territory get involved in such dynamics, and to generate

a space where their imaginaries are visualized, registered, developed, shared and

well kept.

For 17 years, the BVB has used a great share of its efforts and resources to find

the right spot, with the necessary museographic features to carry out the BVB and

other cultural events of the neighborhood.

Right now, our big objective is to establish a place to make our activities and reaffirm

our processes, so that our links to the community do not weaken. Likely, this space

should turn into the perfect arena to replicate some of the more than 150 didactic

activities that have taken place throughout the BVB’s 17 year history.

Local leaders will also be trained for these initiatives to be applied from their

particular interests at the right time. A database will be made including artists,

managers, leaders and audiences to generate a usable and constantly updated micro


In 2009, thanks to the cooperative work established between the Design and

Architecture Faculty of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogota and the

VISIVA Foundation, Manager of the BVB, a forward thinking project named


The Venicen Ephemeral Museum was developed which, acting at the same time

as a metaphor and multipurpose artifact, was generated thanks to the following


-From the different materials in the area, which generate a harvesting cartography

to locate the available materials and evaluate its possible use according to closeness,

comfort, quantity and aesthetical criteria.

-The museum is designed in real time from individual contributions in a think tank,

knowing the place, analyzing the peculiarities of the environment and knowing the

materials and their possible couplings. It is collectively built after learning all the

base criteria while, through different agreements, decisions are made, fulfilling the

needs and interests established as the project’s requirements.

-To break with the design from the desk schemes, since it does not allow in situ


-We seek to link the community with the creation of the museum. Starting with

the neighbors who donated materials, there were also workshops in surrounding

schools to help co-design the museum, entwining the community to take part in

the conceptual and formal construction.

For more details:


art to the soUth

(oUr center is the soUth)

In cities the size of Bogota and other great Latin American capitals, unplanned and

overwhelming growth is a reality. Strategies previously planned to cover the needs of

the population fall short not only in economical and mobility terms, but in recreation

and culture.

Cultural scenarios are usually developed around historical or administrative downtowns,

but not everyone has access to them. Even a large part of the population is unaware of

the existence of these scenarios, and of the fact that they can make use of them and get

involved in their dynamics.

Bogota suffers from this problem in both south and north extremes, since its cultural

scenarios are placed close to the center and in the near north. It is important to say that

the west does not have important cultural places either, apart from the teatro Mayor

Julio Mario santodomingo and the Museo de arte contemporáneo del Minuto de


Thanks to the optimization of curricular projects from the whole city, students from

the south can now have quality education in colleges that owe nothing to private ones.

This process of optimization in education is part of a broader project of the Township

of Bogota. Today, graduates seek career options different than the usual, and are getting

interested in human sciences and arts, health science, economy and law.

However, it is essential to give these students places where they can work their artistic

abilities in depth and scenarios for their possible development, just as there are for other

areas of knowledge. In other words, we have to generate spaces for the development of

creativity south of Bogota City.


From basic inputs from the Kennedy seat in the Bogota Commerce Chamber (8), we

will make a series of conferences, talks, workshops and work tables with visual artists

from the south of the city, professionals or not.

The mapping of local talents, achieved with support from previous administrations’

local Townships and their Departments of Culture, will allow us to capture a series of

potential partners to create a system that can announce, classify, optimize, and put the

talents from the south into circulation and insertion.

Results from this process will not necessarily be visualized through traditional

exhibitions, although the goal is to make a professional following of the artists and

their processes. The final objective is to give them a visibility space in the seat and

surrounding spaces, and of course, the Bogota International Art Fair, artbo (9) .

The view of the BVB implies strengthening local cultural projects that are already in

process, and to set the conditions to apply a series of communitarian cultural centers in

Venice and other places. This has the objective of turning the participation dynamic into

a common thing for local artists and new audiences, articulating them with day to day

activities and the local cultural offer. We also want to get closer to their entertainment

and information interests, or simply to set out active links to the community from

different perspectives.

We dream that, in the next few years, The Bogota’s Venice Biennale will have a place

of its own and an optimized work team, for it to turn into a favorite space for artists

and cultural managers to form; these people will be in charge of promotion, press and

sustainability for the BVB and other high caliber cultural events in a very near future.




1 Bogotá City is administratively divided in

20 localities. One of them is Tunjuelito, where

the Venice Neighborhood is located.

2 District Institute for Culture and Tourism.

Around that time, it was the entity in charge of

formulating public policies towards plastic arts

on a district level. Today this entity is called

the Department of Culture of Bogotá, while

the one in charge of arts is called IDARTES.

3 The Community Action Committee is

an organism created in 1958 to draw the

communities close to the central level of the

District Administration.

4 Local artist refers to those who live in


5 The TÄI/The Art Incubator Group is a

multipurpose artistic lab that gathers all

the volunteers for the BVB. This group is

generally constituted by students of art, design,

architecture and other related disciplines.

6 Videojukeboxes are jukeboxes with a screen

for videos, adapted as an exhibition device.

7 La Curtiduría (Oaxaca, México). It is

an independent and self-managed space

founded in 2006 by artist Demián Flores,

whose purpose is to open a center for dialogue,

interchange and contemporary artistic

production in Oaxaca.



8 The Bogotá Chamber of Commerce is a

private, non-profit organization in charge

of managing the commercial registers of

companies and societies created in Bogotá, and

thus represents the interests of the businesses

and society in general.

9 Bogotá International Art Fair. Planned and

directed by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce

it has consolidated, after seven editions,

as the main commercial showcase for the

strengthening of cultural industries in Bogotá

and artistic interchange in Latin America. It

takes place every October in the Corferias fair



A dArk new dAy:

Present and future of the music industry

by Daniel Vega

The CD was the protagonist of music’s last

great boom. Numerous bands were able to

sell millions of records in this format. Ultra

commercialized artists like Michael Jackson,

Madonna and Led Zeppelin, whose greatest

hits hypnotically spin on dead nostalgia radio

stations, sold more copies of their music

in CD than in any other format, even years

after their peak.

I’ve been buying music since I was eight

years old. In junior high I bought at least

one record every Friday; after school I would

get lost for hours looking at covers, listening

to albums, looking for songs. It was around

that strange year of 1998, when the rumor


of CD burners was around, and we were

surprised to get a CD for one fourth of its

commercial price. Slowly but surely, copies

of every kind started to gain territory to the

original CDs distributed by the record companies.The

disease spread in little time and

doctors had no idea what was going on. I remember

those ridicule copy protected discs

that included personalized players to avoid

the scattering of copies on people’s PCs:

band aids for gangrened arms. I don’t know

if they still exist, because I’ve not bought a

CD in years.

The minds that control the music industry

have always been some of the most perverse

and ridiculous, something that time

has only accentuated. From Coronel Parker

squeezing King Elvis like a juice to his last

consequences; going through David Geffen,

President of Geffen Records, who sued Neil

Young, artist of his own company, for doing

“music uncharacteristic of Neil Young” (???);

reaching the limits of the ridicule with Warner

Brothers, who, because of a management

mistake, technically paid twice for Wilco’s

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. These are evidences

of what the artist may turn to in this business,

a tool, a monolith that will draw the

masses, who will give them some of their

money as worship through records, concert

tickets and souvenirs.

Many people like to blame the fall of the

industry to the digital download sites that

started to show their little heads towards

the end of the 20th century. From Napster,

Limewire and Soulseek, until we discovered

the simplicity of Megaupload and its proud

heir, Mediafire, who

at least have supplied

me of more albums

than my dad’s allowance

ever did. But the

seed of the problem

was present from the

start. Of course, this

has generated heated


debates about the legality of downloading

music. There are mixed opinions among the

artists; some of them see downloading as an

aberration, while others consider it as another

way to make themselves known to the

public. The issue is more regulated in countries

like the U.S., but the dilemma is still in

its moral stages in Mexico. I know very little

persons that still get their music on original

neil young,


the second

most important songwriter only behind

Bob dylan, was sued by his own record

company for not mantaining a creative

line in his albums.

Alt-country band Wilco was fired

from reprise records because

their album, yankee Hotel Foxtrot,

was considered unreleasable.

CDs. The most common ways are unofficial

downloads or unoriginal CDs with complete

discographies. Yes, it is not the same experience

and music enters our brain in a different

way, different than when we used to get

home, play the disc and read the lyrics. But

in the end, the important issue is that we’re


still interested in discovering new

music, despite of the natural adaptations

of the listening ritual.

This relationship between music

executives, who usually give little

importance to creative processes or

artistic ideologies and artists, have

always been a weird one. Record

companies have to look for the

best way to increase sales. Records

themselves are already expensive.

Then comes the confrontation with

these real artists who propose

something new and different

and do it coherently; those who

come from little independent

companies, where their creativities

live freely, who many times

bluntly crash with the compromises

they acquire when signing with big

transnationals. Many have rapidly lost to

this reality shock, going from being a little

known but well respected to being projected

into the mainstream, with the inherent loss

of seriousness in the eyes of their original

followers. Yes, surely their music will reach a

broader audience, but it will probably do so

by being contaminated by some of the producer’s

formulas, different production techniques

designed to compete and be successfully

mixed with the current trends in music.

And so, all of that will die some not very far

away (dark?) day. The infection is in place,

it’s only a matter of time. Some transnationals

have already succumbed to the impossible

modifications they never accepted. Upon

trying to keep functioning in this new reality

as they did twenty years ago, old models

have become unusable. Sometimes it’s simple

greed, but there are other factors such

as the uneasy transition into new formats,

mainly because of the lack of a unanimous

and prevailing way of selling music.

Recent platforms as Myspace gave the industry

a much needed rush of air, especially

to independent bands that, through this

website, made themselves known to the

world without the need of a contract. The

site allowed users to create a personalized


profile that could include recordings, videos,

tour dates, etc., with the idea that any artist,

without having to belong to a record company

or having a contract, could promote

in the internet in an easy and free way. And

even though the format became obsolete

after a couple of years, it set an important

precedent: all you need to make yourself

known is a decent website and a somewhat

creative distribution. Unfortunately, talent

wasn’t a requirement to register, what made

us prey of an avalanche of trash, minimum

quality “music”.

Towards the end of the 21st century’s first

decade, many veteran artists reached the end

of their long contracts, many of them signed

at the beginning of the 90s. While the majority

renewed or signed with smaller companies

for survival’s sake, many more have

successfully transitioned into new distribution

models. The idea of eliminating the

artist/company/promoter triangle was out,

and many big names decided to self-distribute

their music, creating their own companies

to promote new material. But despite

the changes, the inertia from the old system

is still alive, and industry dinosaurs have created

some new superstars, figures that can

still move thousands of copies.

We live in 2012. More than a decade has

passed since the first mp3 boom, and there

is still not a person who knows how we will

get and listen to our music in the mid-term

future. The music industry is in anarchy, it

jumped thousands of years into the past,

something that has its advantages and disadvantages.

Some dinosaurs still live. But

new minds have imagined effective methods


that, even though will never reach the sales

of the past, have found new ways to keep

the boat from sinking. Sites like Spotify,

where one pays a monthly fee to listen to a

catalog that already counts many important


distributors among its ranks, have reached

acceptance among the audiences and artists,

who have already signed contracts to distribute

their music through this portal.

The future is uncertain and there are no

smoke signals in the horizon, but the latest

tendencies are based on digital distribution,

while the gross of the income is, as was in

the beginning, in live shows and merchandise.

Although the industry is no longer the

monster it used to be, the good news is that

today there are a lot of possibilities to present

a new project, and many times it’s talent,

hidden in some lost neighborhood,

who projects this new

bands into the spotlight. In the

end it is comforting to know

that talent, presented and promoted

wisely, can still draw the attention of

music lovers everywhere.



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