After Landscape

Perspectives and Traces of the Traveler

Friday Oct 16, 2015

About

After Landscape: Perspectives and Traces of the Traveler is the fifth edition of the annual Seminario Fundación Cisneros. The seminar takes the form of an all-day conference, featuring presentations on the subject of landscape by artists, curators, writers, and historians. Each participant will focus less on the drawing of landscape than on drawing from landscape to locate its political nature. Landscape will be explored with a forensic rather than a merely contemplative eye to better comprehend the history of a place, as well as the place of the observer. As in past years, the seminar inspires parallel programming that involves institutional collaborations and engages diverse communities in Caracas and beyond.

After Landscape has the intent of addressing forms of cultural visualization: why, how, by, and for whom particular lands have been depicted. Whether considered an art genre or experienced as part of field expeditions, landscape is addressed in this seminar from the perspective of the traveler, of the visitor. These subjects may be foreigners, strangers as they travel, visiting places in which they are alien or from which they may feel alienated. These relentless observers may become accidental experts of a place. The foreigner is also at times not subject but object: a hovering satellite or a flying drone.

Artist and scientist, merchant and migrant, crusader and soldier, machine and its operator—these are some of the figures that have historically captured a vision of the world, of its now familiar places and its still remote sites. It is from the purported “been there” of these travelers, with their combination of privileged view and distanced overview of site, that landscape is experienced and rendered at once. What ends does this picturing serve? In this act of contemplation, exploration, and evaluation, what role does landscape play? Why and how could historical revision and decolonization of landscape be fruitful? Could the experience and exercise of landscape be decolonizing in themselves?

After Landscape will include lectures by T.J. Demos, María Elena Ramos, Rafael Romero, Graciela Silvestri, and Félix Suazo. There will also be presentations by Juan Araujo, Carolina Caycedo, Dulce Gómez, Catalina Lozano, Roberto Mata, Tahía Rivero, José Roca, and Luis Julio Toro. Additionally, there will be a public conversation between Natasha Tiniacos and Elías Pino Iturrieta.

The conference’s morning session will be devoted to keynote lectures, part of which will focus on the history of traveler artists in Venezuela and its tradition of landscape painting. A second part of that morning session will explore modes of decolonizing landscape. The conference’s afternoon session is conceived as a forum to present current artistic production and new perspectives on these matters. The bookends of this session will be public dialogues.

At three separate moments during the conference, there will be video screenings of a selection of works drawn from the CPPC’s contemporary art collection. Dating from 2000 to 2014, these artworks are by Adrián Balseca, Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker, Jorge Domínguez Dubuc, Camilo Echavarría, Suwon Leeand Cinthia Marcelle. Each of these artists have, in their own way, recurrently explored the concept of landscape. Yet, while some focus on landscape as a subjective cultural construction or reconstruction, others have used landscape as a means to develop critical narratives about man-made situations or geopolitical issues.

In addition to the lectures and these screenings, After Landscape will offer audiences other ways to engage with contemporary art and the seminar’s topic, as well as to address some of the questions they raise. Several events and public programs have been organized in conjunction with the seminar: a workshop designed for artists will interpret landscape as a field of opportunities; a film series will feature “road-trip” films of rarely depicted routes and vistas of our times; a set of artist-made backdrops will be temporarily set up to produce an exhibition of portraits in social networks, exploring circulation and displacement through the “been there” asserted in landscape imagery.

The workshop Valores y tácticas en un horizonte de movilidad aims to introduce the participants in practical ways to the various career opportunities within the broad spectrum of contemporary art.

Centro de Arte Los Galpones joins the Fundación Cisneros Seminar with a special program for Cine a Cielo Abierto, where they will highlight the different viewpoints of the traveler who moves based on interests that can be reversed by unexpected situations, shaping experiences subject to encounters with landscape.

Backroom Caracas, an arts organization with an eponymous online publication, will present Backdrops. This weeklong exhibition of eight photomurals by artists—each featuring landscapes of different sorts—will turn the university’s open-air gallery into a photographic studio. In this space, audiences are encouraged to take their individual and group portraits using mobile technology, and to share their pictures digitally. Social networking sites and apps are the space for which the exhibition is ultimately conceived; audiences connected will be able to see these portraits if tagged as: #telondefondo.

 Participating artists in Backdrops include: Nayarí Castillo, Amada Granado, Flavio Herrera, Ricardo Huezo, Nancy La Rosa, Marco Montiel-Soto, Romy Pocztaruk, and Gerardo Rojas. In conjunction with Backdrops, and as part of After Landscape, a photography specialist will give a gallery talk about the history of backdrops in photo studios, and the photographer Vasco Szinetar will give a talk addressing the so-called selfie phenomena, which is undeniably now a chapter within the history of portraiture. In the evening, a gallery reception will be held to conclude the conference.

After Landscape takes place on Friday, October 16, 2015, from 8am to 8pm, at the Asociación Cultural Humboldt in Caracas, Venezuela. A long day of intense programming and dynamic activities, it will most likely inspire ideas and provoke debate. After Landscape and all its related events are open to the general public free of charge. Registration is required, however, and seating will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis considering those records. Registration information will be posted on this page shortly.

Organized by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), the Seminario Fundación Cisneros was created to encourage the multidisciplinary study of culture and modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on Latin American art. Since its start in 2011, Seminario Fundación Cisneros takes place annually in Caracas, and since its second edition, the seminar is designed and coordinated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC. Laura Braverman worked as the research assistant for After Landscape.

Day's Itinerary

Download Program (1.67 MB)

LIVESTREAM:

The following schedule is in Venezuelan Standard Time (VET).

8:00–9:00 AM
Register


8:50–9:00 AM
Video Screening
Presentation of the video Cauca by Camilo Echavarria in the Auditorium


9:00–9:15 AM
Official Welcome
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Director, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros


9:15–9:25 AM
Introduction
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


9:25–9:55 AM
Presentation
A Collection of traveling artists in Latin America (Watch the video)
Rafael Romero

The presence of traveling artists in Latin America begins with the arrival of Dutch painter Frans Post to Brazil in 1637 and has lasted since then until the late nineteenth century. This is the story that constructs the anthology of landscapes that the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has built over the last three decades. 


9:55–10:10 AM
Video conference
Territory and landscape. Travel adventures and the invention of image (Watch the video)
María Elena Ramos

Over the centuries, local travelers and artists—dazzled and meticulous—recorded the different aspects of Venezuela’s territory. In her presentation, Maria Elena Ramos will focus on three topics: the vision of post-Humboldt creators; the topographic variety that influenced the art, and what the landmark mountain el Avila has meant to the history of Venezuela.


10:10–10:40 AM
Presentation
El Ávila is corny (Watch the video)
Félix Suazo

In the manifesto Homenaje a la Cursilería of the group El Techo de la Ballena (1961), there is the affirmation that "el Ávila, one of the central motifs of the landscape tradition of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is responsible for many corny phrases.” In this one can find an ironic fracture with the exaggerated care that the people of Caracas pay to this mountain.

Homenaje a la cursilería is, really, a first attempt to rethink visual and literary perspective on landscape and, by extension, to question the models of national identity.


10:40–11:00 AM
Performance
Geocoreografías (Watch the video)
Carolina Caycedo

In the environmental social movements of the Americas, the body is being used as a political tool in the public space. Everyday gestures such as fishing, swimming in the river, or cultivate the garden have been politicized as a result of ecocide, uncertainty, and the territorial displacement that mining and energy megaprojects cause. Everyday gestures intrinsic to the geography and the socio-environmental context of a territory, coupled with a growing number of extraordinary acts of resistance and civil disobedience is what we call geocoreografias [geocoreographies].


11:00–11:30 AM
Presentation
The Land misplaced (Watch the video)
Graciela Silvestri

A reflection on the contemporary interpretation of South American landscapes—particularly the so-called "lowlands"—from an aesthetic rereading of Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi Strauss.


11:30–12:00 PM
Presentation
Decolonizing nature: Art and politics of Earth jurisprudence (Watch the video)
T.J. Demos

In recent years, the landscape has transformed into a new ground of conflict—between neoliberal development’s destruction of the environment, and an emergent bio-centric legality, extending rights to nonhuman subjects. This presentation considers cultural production in the Americas as a site where the juridico-political energy of environmental activism, Indigenous human rights, and art’s speculative realism interlink, proposing new ways to decolonize nature.


12:00–12:30 PM
Discussion and Brainstorming
Moderated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


12:30–1:15 PM
Lunch Break


1:15–2:00 PM
Video Screening
Suwon LeeEl bosque, RT 2’45”
Jorge Domínguez Dubuc, Alto del Toro, RT 5’09”
Donna Conlon y Jonathan Harker, Estación Seca, RT 2’02”
Cinthia MarcelleLeitmotiv, RT 4’16”


2:00–2:10 PM
Recap
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


2:10–2:16 PM
Pecha Kucha
Wild (Watch the video)
Dulce Gómez

The idea is to connect painting and memory. With that in mind, artist Dulce Gomez takes as the starting point of her artistic research the growth of a plant in the sink in her workshop where she cleans her brushes. The plant, which she placed there for no particular reason, grew during a period in which she did not paint.


2:17–2:23 PM
Pecha Kucha
Landscape: tradition and rupture (Watch the video)
Tahía Rivero

In her presentation, Tahía Rivero offers a chronological journey from academia to the contemporary. Using paradigmatic works in the Colección Mercantil, she will trace the transformation of the landscape from its relegated hierarchy to its academic appraisal. The recurrence of landscape as a subject in Venezuelan art will be shown from contemporary visions outside at the margins of the canon of representation.


2:24–2:30 PM
Video Pecha Kucha
Between the place of two worlds (Watch the video)
Juan Araujo

Araujo's participation will consist of a selection of paintings produced between 2000 and 2015 that emphasize the constant mix of issues around the history of painting and its relationship to modernity and architecture.


2:31–2:37 PM
Pecha Kucha
Contemporary travelers in the Magdalena (Watch the video)
José Roca

The Fundación FLORA ars+natura is a space for contemporary art in Bogota, Colombia, with an emphasis on the relationship between art and nature. Its residency program takes place in Honda, a city of great importance during the colonial era due to its strategic location as a major port on the Magdalena River. José Roca will present several works and actions performed by the artists in residence at Honda since 2012.


2:38–2:44 PM
Pecha Kucha
A trip with a cell phone, with no reception (Watch the video)
Roberto Mata

Roberto Mata explores the evolution of the photographer’s journey, from the contemplative to the listener, and analyzes the transition between an aesthetic nature and an individualistic spirit. He will analyze movement as an excuse for a figurative self-portrait through third parties who testify in exchange for attention. A camera that makes calls, a new bridge between content and audience.


2:45–2:51 PM
Pecha Kucha
That which doesn’t work is forgotten (Watch the video)
Catalina Lozano

This Pecha Kucha will address an exhibition and a book in which the circulation of certain objects within historical transformations, in most cases related to colonial history, were explored. The project idea stems from the work and friendship with the Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico just outside Mexico City.


2:52–2:58 PM
Pecha Kucha
Chamber music (Watch the video)
Luis Julio Toro

In the numerous trips, tours and expeditions that Toro has undertaken throughout his career as a flutist, he has often found himself in a solitary situation, and seeing marvelous, beautiful things—or the exact opposite—and thinking about the people he imagines would also enjoy them. Photography has become the best resource to "transport" these viewing experiences. Beyond reproducing the exact image, what seduces him is to be able to capture the emotion and find poetry that transcends that moment and, hence, to share it transformed by a personal interpretation.


2:59–3:30 PM

Conversation between the historian and writer Elías Pino Iturrieta and the young poet Natasha Tiniacos (Watch the video)


3:30–4:00 PM
Discussion and Brainstorm
Moderated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


4:00–4:10 pm
Final remarks and Farewell
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


4:10–4:30 PM
Video Screening

Presentation of the video Medio camino by Adrián Balseca, RT 16’44”

 

Venue

Asociación Cultural Humboldt 
Teatro Alexander Von Humboldt
Av. Los Próceres c/c Av. J.G. Roscio
San Bernardino
Caracas 1060-A
Venezuela

Parallel Events

Exhibition: "Backdrops" by Backroom Caracas

Friday Oct 16, 2015 to Wednesday Oct 21, 2015

Backroom Caracas, an arts organization with an eponymous online publication, will present Backdrops. This weeklong exhibition of eight photomurals by artists—each featuring landscapes of different sorts—will turn the university’s open-air gallery into a photographic studio. In this space, audiences are encouraged to take their individual and group portraits using mobile technology, and to share their pictures digitally. Social networking sites and apps are the space for which the exhibition is ultimately conceived; audiences connected will be able to see these portraits if tagged as: #telondefondo.

Click here for more information.

Workshop: "Values and tactics in a changing landscape" by Catalina Lozano

Thursday Oct 15, 2015

The workshop Valores y tácticas en un horizonte de movilidad aims to introduce the participants in practical ways to the various career opportunities within the broad spectrum of contemporary art.

This workshop will consist of two sessions. 

Click here for more information.

Film Series: "Cine a cielo abierto" by El Centro de Arte Los Galpones

Saturday Oct 10, 2015 to Saturday Oct 24, 2015

Centro de Arte Los Galpones joins the Seminario Fundación Cisneros with a special film program, Cine a Cielo Abierto, where they will highlight the different viewpoints of the traveler who moves based on interests that can be reversed by unexpected situations, shaping experiences subject to encounters with landscape.

Click here for more information.

Videos

Video

RAFAEL ROMERO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

MARÍA ELENA RAMOS | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

FÉLIX SUAZO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

CAROLINA CAYCEDO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

GRACIELA SILVESTRI | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

T.J. DEMOS | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

DULCE GÓMEZ | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

TAHÍA RIVERO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

JOSÉ ROCA | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

ROBERTO MATA | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

CATALINA LOZANO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

LUIS JULIO TORO | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015

ELÍAS PINO ITURRIETA & NATASHA TINIACOS | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2015