The Betrayal of the Contemporary: Activations, suspensions and projections of the contemporary in art
November 9, 2012
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas
This edition of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros combines the model of a symposium with the Pecha Kucha format, a creative presentation in which a work is outlined in a simple and informal manner. The seminar gathers artists, writers, art curators and critics, as well as producers in other disciplines and the general public, to consider the many genealogies and languages in the visual arts simultaneously operating in the field of culture.
In addition, the seminar includes an on- and offline exchange program that comprises tours through the university and a number of virtual interventions. Furthermore, in order to contribute locally to Venezuela's cultural development, the seminar has established partnerships with the schools of photography Organización Nelson Garrido and Escuela de Fotografia Roberto Mata, as well as the Capriles film school, whose students will document the seminario's activities. The results of these collaborations will be published both on this website and in media allies.
As the subtitle of The Betrayal of the Contemporary suggests, the seminar is designed as a space to reflect upon and discuss the various attempts to define the contemporary, particularly through the arts. In the process of this discussion, the challenges, both regional and global, are to recognize the tactics, benefits and even the abuse of the plurality of the contemporary definitions. The seminar will cover the philosophical trace between concepts and techniques, as well as technology and experimentation, the battles between the access and the limitations to the markets of ideas and art, and the uses of or references to histories of art and visual culture.
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, "The betrayal of the new in today's art"
This second edition of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros will reflect upon today's artistic production, and about that which is usually called the contemporary. Several questions motivate the organization of this seminar: what differences have been made between modern and contemporary? Why insist on the need for a diversity of plastic, curatorial, and cultural approaches to contemporaneity? Do language and translation betray artistic work?
Nato Thompson, "Art won and we don't know it: the growth of cultural production and its relationship to the arts"
Art has won and no one knows it. After the last hundred years, the skills of representation and the production of affect have left the specific universe of the arts and have made their way into the logic of everyday corporate and managerial culture. Communications, advertising, and marketing have radically taken hold of the gears of culture and have in many cases transformed the landscape in which people experience images and emotions. In his presentation, Nato Thompson navigates what this new landscape of vast cultural production means for the artist who wants to matter in society.
Mariángela Méndez, "To kiss or bite the hand that feeds you"
When we review the relationship between art and its environment, we find that very explicit representations and models of the world stop half way through and only hinder our understanding of it. It seems better in these cases to use the world as its own model, but this kind of abstraction might ignore the cognitive essence of intelligence that resides only in materialization. It is as if one could separate understanding from reality, into two parts: one that can be resolved through abstraction and one that cannot.
Claire Bishop, "How do you make a classroom come to life as though it were a work of art?"
Since the 1990s, critics and curators have broadly accepted the notion that participatory art is the ultimate political art: that by encouraging an audience to take part, an artist can promote new emancipatory social relations. Bishop calls for a less prescriptive approach to art and politics, and for more compelling, troubling and bolder forms of participatory art and criticism. Her lecture will focus, specifically, on long-term educational projects by contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tania Bruguera, Paweł Althamer and Paul Chan.
Inti Guerrero (TEOR/ética), María Carmen Carrión (ICI), Ileana Ramírez (Tráfico Visual)
Through an international network of collaborators that was created to share virtually the contents of this edition of the Seminar, we will connect with other audiences interested in discussing The Betrayal of the Contemporary. After the first session of the seminar, curators representing each of these institutions will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations. Introduction by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy.
Ericka Flores (Lugar a Dudas)
After the first session of the seminar, curators representing each of these institutions from the International Network will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations. Introduction by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy.
Eduardo Abaroa (SOMA)
Sergio Monsalve, Zuleiva Vivas, Suwon Lee, "Landscapes and mirages"
A filmmaker, a curator and an artist have been asked to address the following questions, using their work, research and impressions of the cultural field to answer them critically: Is there a difference between a natural and a social landscape? How does landscape position but also refer, how does it accept and at the same time question the gaze in our time? If power and intimacy grant privileged access to information, what are the responsibilities of the gaze?
Maria Lind, Muu Blanco, Mary Montes, "Reality and abstraction"
Abstraction in art has generally been associated with the ideas and ideals of modernism, at least in art history. However, abstraction is still a language in current use and development, notwithstanding that the modernist project and its failures have been severely criticized. A curator, an artist and a writer speak of how they approach abstraction today.
Pablo León de la Barra, Mario García Torres, Luis Molina Pantín, "Archives, stories, rumors"
This session convenes a group of artists and cultural figures interested in creating or reflecting on narratives through various artistic practices, from the creation and study of archives and collections, though the completion of stories and rumors. Specialists and enthusiasts present their productions.