Show & Tell

Systems in the 1960s, exhibitions in the 1990s, projects for 2020

Friday Mar 17, 2017


The Seminario Fundación Cisneros Show and Tell, originally scheduled for November 4, 2016, has been rescheduled for March 17, 2017. The international conference Show and Tell will examine influential cultural producers and ground-breaking exhibitions in Latin America, and presents cultural proposals for the near future in Venezuela. Specifically, the first part of the seminar draws attention to artistic communities, art exhibitions, and cultural institutions active in the 1960s and 1990s; the second part of Show and Tell is devoted to imagining projects that might be created in Venezuela in the year 2020. Through presenting case studies, Show and tell aims to elucidate the context in which cultural production is developed. 

By giving an overview of the content and framework of a given project, case studies provide historical context to consider these retrospectively and comprehend the ways in which their repercussions are manifested today. What does an institution show? What does a show tell? What makes something culturally relevant? What is it that art makes? These are the questions that Show and Tell will raise through a variety of case studies presented in different sections.

For Show and Tell, the presentations around the 1960s will focus in three key figures––Miguel Arroyo in Venezuela, Lina Bo Bardi in Brazil, and Jorge Romero Brest in Argentina–– whose work contributed to build and develop new systems to create and organize the aesthetic experience and cultural institutions. Presentations about the 1990s will focus in three ground breaking exhibitions––Ante América in Bogotá, CCS 10 in Caracas, and Mesótica II. Centroamérica: re-generación in San José, Costa Rica––that proposed new gazes and meanings of art. Additionally, an array of texts about exhibitions from these decades have been commissioned and will be published on the website. 

The near future is considered, too: a section of Show and Tell is devoted to imagining projects that might be created in Venezuela in the year 2020. These presentations in the form of Pecha Kuchas (a format that we have been using in past editions) are exhibition and propositional platform. In addition, this seminar will have a public session in which the audience will experience historic and future exhibitions under hypnosis, as well as round tables designed for project planning.

Show and Tell´s speakers are Lupe Álvarez, José Luis Blondet, Inés Katzenstein, Tamara Díaz BringasPatricia Velasco, and Tomás Toledo. It also includes the participation of Grisel Arveláez, María Bilbao and Diana Rangel, Ignacio Cardona, Érika OrdosgoittiLourdes Peñaranda, Norberto José Olivar, and Carmen Hernández. For this edition of the seminar, a unique presentation of The Hypnotic Show will be held, led by Marcos Lutyens and Raimundas Malašauskas, and developed in collaboration with Martha Durán, Augusto Gerardi and Jacqueline Goldberg. Among the contributors to the CPPC´s website authoring commissioned texts for Show and Tell are Magali Arriola, Miguel López, Mauricio Marcín, Gabriela Rangel, Costanza De Rogatis and Aixa Sánchez.

Show and Tell, the sixth edition of the Fundación Cisneros Seminar, will take place in 2017 at Centro Cultural Chacao in Caracas, Venezuela. Like in past editions, the program includes a range of presentation formats, from lectures to workshops to online contributions. It also engages various collaborators in its development and in creating parallel programs to the conference. This seminar’s main event is a conference that includes a keynote speech. The proposed program structure and participants will be made available soon.

Begun in 2011 by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), the Seminario Fundación Cisneros is held annually, and Show and Tell is its sixth edition. It is conceptualized by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC. Each edition has addressed a specific topic: in 2011, Piet Mondrian: Parallel Readings studied the influence of the artist in Latin America; in 2012, The Betrayal of the Contemporary approached current artistic and cultural production; in 2013, Promises of the Commons dealt with matters of copyright; in 2014, Acts of Learning explored forms of comprehending the world through art; and, in 2015, After Landscape offered decolonizing perspectives of the traveler.

The seminar has been held in various venues in Caracas; it has always been broadcasted live and has been documented on video, which is published shortly after each event on the CPPC's website, remaining accessible to date. In this digital platform commissioned texts and other material related to the topics covered in each edition of the seminar will be additionally published. Access to the event itself and its documentation is free of charge. Previous online registration is open for the event two months in advanced, until capacity is reached.

The Fundación Cisneros Seminar brings together national and international speakers, and has a wide audience. Each edition is attended, on site, by around 500 people. Most come from the Greater Caracas area; approximately 15% of the public travels from inside the country to attend the program, and around a thousand people are virtually connected to the seminar through the live stream. The audience at the seminar could be described as intergenerational, with an average age of 35 years. It consists mainly of students and teachers in the field of art, architecture and literature, as well as art professionals, cultural managers and writers. People who attend the seminar parallel programs such as workshops, are mainly emerging artists and curators.

Day's Itinerary

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We Begin 
Make yourself comfortable

8:00–8:45 am
Upon arrival at Centro Cultural Chacao, please approach the registration desk; here you will receive a set of cards on which you will be able to write questions addressed to the speakers, which will be asked later in the day. We also encourage you to book a spot at one of the two activities that will take place during the lunch break: The roundtables, where informal conversation with the speakers about what was discussed during the morning will take place, or the Hypnotic Show. Space is limited, so we recommend arriving early to reserve a seat.

Check out the details for these activities below, in the sessions taking place from 11:30 am to 1pm.

8:45–9:00 am
Diverse Connections
Take your seat. Before we begin, while everyone settles in the auditorium, we will broadcast a series of video clips featuring interviews with artists about exhibitions and cultural producers that have impacted their artistic production. The artists featured in these clips are Tania Bruguera from Havana; Eduardo Costa and Marta Minujín from Buenos Aires; Natalya Critchley from an artist residency in Michigan; Minerva Cuevas from her studio in Mexico City, Regina José Galindo from Guatemala; Alfredo Jaar and Javier Tellez from their studios in New York; Ana María Millán from Berlin; Jorge Pineda from Santo Domingo and Raúl Quintanilla from Managua.

9:00–9:20 am
We Begin

The Director and Chief Curator of the CPPC, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, welcomes us to the sixth edition of Seminario Fundación Cisneros. 

Introduction (Read the English transcript)
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Curator of Contemporary Art at the CPPC, will give a brief introduction to the program.

Session #1
9:20–11:30 am

Systems in the 1960s
In the sixties, process—through systems and events—was one of the main forms of content in the arts. The first two sessions of the seminar include presentations focusing on producers and their work in the sixties:

Video Skype with Javier Téllez (Watch the video)
The artist welcomes us, via Skype, from an artist residency in Boston to let us know which exhibitions from the 1960s have informed his practice.  

Miguel Arroyo: The Eye and the Craft
Patricia Velasco (Caracas) (Read the English transcript)

Miguel Arroyo was a man of action and thought; a man from the museum; a modern man; an artist. Committed to the world of creation, Arroyo established the first systematic and modern platform for the discussion and enjoyment of art and the sensorial experience in Venezuela. A founding figure in the visual arts, his legacy remains in full force, stimulating new ways of approaching thinking about museum practice. During her presentation, Patricia Velasco reviews some referential experiences, and weaves links between the sensitivity of a man in the service of art, and his work in the construction and definition of strategic guidelines for Venezuelan cultural institutions.

Lina Bo Bardi in MASP Brazil
Tomás Toledo (São Paulo)  (Read the English transcript)

This talk will address Museu de Arte de São Paulo's (MASP) new program, which integrates exhibitions, collections, displays, and education, the latter including courses, seminars, lectures, and workshops. The program seeks to create a multiple, diverse and plural museum that takes into account the institution’s history. An example of this is MASP’s recreation of Lina Bo Bardi’s glass easels display that brings back her radical proposition and may propose a decolonization of the museum’s collection, by showing European art—a collection for which MASP is well-known—alongside Brazilian, Latin American, African, and Pre-Columbian art, as well as so-called arte popular.

Jorge Romero Brest Between the Ropes
Inés Katzenstein (Buenos Aires) (Read the English transcript)

In this lecture, Inés Katzenstein presents the trajectory of the Argentine critic Jorge Romero Brest during the 1960s, when he directed the Center for Visual Arts at the Di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This presentation discusses the stresses that took place among experimentation, dematerialization, and institutions during those years. 

Conversation with the Speakers (Read the English transcript)
At the end of the first session, Sofía moderates a conversation between the speakers and reads a selection of the questions posed in the cards that were given to you in the morning during registration.

11:30 am–12:00 pm

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
What is the Hypnotic Show?
During this session we introduce the ideas, dynamics, and content developed for the Venezuelan version of the Hypnotic Shows, developed by Marcos Lutyens (Los Angeles) and Raimundas Malašauskas (Brussels) to experience two historical exhibitions and a future project through hypnosis:  

Imagen de Caracas  
According to Augusto Gerardi (Caracas)

Augusto Gerardi proposes a review of Imagen en Caracas (Caracas, 1968) in two simultaneous times: first, the present-time, which recreates the difficulties of getting information about the project and the current status of documentation centers that affect the body in a physical way. The second half will recreate, through photo archives and interviews, the realization processes from the filming of some sequences and construction of the structure up until the opening day.

To perform this script, Gerardi will use the photographic archive of the National Library and interview people who participated in each of the stages of completion to vividly recreate the experience of working on a project of this magnitude.

Desde el cuerpo: alegorías de lo femenino 
According to Martha Durán (Maracaibo)

From a selection of twelve artworks featured in the exhibition Desde el cuerpo: Alegorías de lo femenino, held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas in 1998, Martha Duran structures a narrative that takes the reader-participant in a sensorial journey through the works, evoking and reconstructing not only the different visual, audible, and tactile images that constitute these works, but also from different emotional states induced or stimulated by them. The voice that narrates—in second person—leads the participant though actual physical spaces, but also through intangible ones; places of intimacy, where women can manifest themselves in the harshest and starkest ways, as well as the subtlest and most fragile ones, intrinsic to dream states.

Clothing for a cry
By Jacqueline Goldberg (Caracas)

In the near future, a renowned Bulgarian artist "wraps" a construction of colonial origin, situated at the foot of the mountain, between ramshackle buildings that once housed justice and patriotic memory. The whitest fabrics of colossal dimensions become screens, showing a sequence of images of various stages of the barracks that were once emblematic of both militarism and civility in the country. The viewer, from a grandstand with comfortable seats at a considerate distance, will witness the end of the building, of the installed work, and of Sunday afternoon.

From the Present and Beyond

12:00–1:00 pm
Activities and Mingling
During the break you may choose between two activities where you will be able to eat lunch: The Public Roundtables in which each table is headed by two speakers from the seminar, or the Hypnotic Show. Of course, if you prefer not to participate in either activity, enjoy lunch with colleagues and friends. You can have lunch at the café at Centro Cultural Chacao or at one of the nearby cafes; there are many options. See you in an hour or so, to begin the afternoon session.

Registration for the Roundtables and Hypnotic Shows takes place in the morning only at the registration tables. Please register as soon as you arrive, as space is limited. Descriptions of each of these activities are below. Please note that each activity requires a cost for the preset lunch and that these activities will take place in different areas of Chacao Cultural Center, as noted below:

Public Roundtables 
This activity will take place at the galería La Caja
In order to provide a space for interaction between speakers and the public, a series of roundtables have been planned to discuss over lunch what has been presented in the morning. Each of these tables will be headed by one of the speakers and are open to seminar attendees by registration only. At the end of this session, a representative from each table––selected during lunch time––will share with the general public in the auditorium a synopsis of the discussion held during lunch.

Each round table has a space limit of ten people; enrollment to these tables will be done during registration in the morning, on a first-come-first-served basis. Lunch offered at these round tables will be simple (sandwich, fruit, water). If you prefer not to participate in this seminar program—or if they have already filled up by the time you arrive—we recommend that you eat with a group of people and chat. There are several cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood where you can have lunch. We will meet after lunch back in the auditorium for the second part of the seminar.

The Hypnotic Show
This activity will take place at the salón La Viga
There is a voice. There is guided daydreaming and there is hypnotic suggestion. There is an oscillation between doubt and invocation. There is writing and the body. In the next moment we may find ourselves in a historic exhibition brought here by the hand of one of the visitors from back then or someone who has not yet been born. The experience may stay intimate and interpersonal, and possible. In this presentation of The Hypnotic Show by Raimundas Malašauskas and Marcos Luytens, two exhibitions and a future project will be experienced through hypnosis, taking into account the scripts that were commissioned for this occasion described above in the 11:30–12:00 pm session "What is the Hypnotic Show?"

1:00–1:30 pm
Diverse Connections
Grab a coffee in the common areas at Centro Cultural Chacao prior to the afternoon session. Before starting, we will broadcast a series of video clips –as we did in the morning– featuring interviews with artists about exhibitions and cultural producers that have impacted their artistic production. The artists featured in these clips, aware of the audience in Caracas, are Tania Bruguera from La Habana; Eduardo Costa and Marta Minujín from Buenos Aires; Natalya Critchley from an artist residency in Michigan; Minerva Cuevas from her studio in Mexico City, Regina José Galindo from Guatemala; Alfredo Jaar and Javier Tellez from their studios in New York; Ana María Millán from Berlin; Jorge Pineda from Santo Domingo and Raúl Quintanilla from Managua.

Session #2
1:30–3:40 pm

Exhibitions in the 1990s
In the nineties, interdisciplinary and postcolonial approaches were consciously adopted to rethink history, organize the present, and imagine futures to come. The second morning session includes presentations focused on exhibitions in the nineties:

FaceTime with Alexander Apóstol (Watch the video)
The Venezuelan artists welcomes us, via FaceTime, in his artist residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to talk about the exhibitions in the 1990s that informed his practice. 

Between Seduction and Annoyance: “CCS-10, Arte Venezolano Actual”
José Luis Blondet (Los Angeles) (Read the English transcript)
What is the relationship between seduction and annoyance? Eugenio Espinoza proposed this question in a text on the artwork Dama de Noche, included in the exhibition CCS-10, Arte Venezolano Actual (Caracas, Venezuela, 1993). Following clues suggested by Gego, this talk offers a distant revision of documentary material, which survives twenty-three years after its inauguration, twenty-two years after Gego’s death, and twenty-seven years after El Caracazo. Were annoyance and seduction the temperature of the nineties in Caracas, or rather, in Venezuela?

Attempts for an Impossible Discourse: “Ante América a través del espejo"
Lupe Álvarez (Guayaquil) (Read the English transcript)
In her presentation, Lupe Álvarez analyzes—from a historical perspective—the discourse that the exhibition Ante América (Bogota, Colombia, 1992) articulated, examining some of its implications and reflecting on certain shifts in the situation of art and its discourse today. 

Central making: A reading of “MESÓTICA II / Centroamérica: re-generación”
Tamara Díaz Bringas (Madrid) (Read the English transcript)
In 1996 the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design of Costa Rica organized the exhibition Mesótica II. Centroamérica: re-generación, curated by Rolando Castellón and Virginia Pérez-Ratton. Twenty years after that first exhibition, produced in and about Central America, we wonder: what shifts did it trigger in a context of post-war and reconfiguration of political and social scenarios in the region? What ideas about Central American artistic production did it project then? And what effects or resonances does that exhibition have in the present?

Conversation with the Speakers (Read the English transcript)
At the end of the second session, Sofia moderates a conversation between the speakers and reads a selection of the questions posed in the cards that were given to you in the morning during registration.

Coffee Break
3:40–4:00 pm

At the end of the second session, Sofia moderates a conversation between the speakers and reads a selection of the questions posed in the cards that were given to you in the morning during registration.

Session #3
4:00–5:00 pm

Projects for 2020
The afternoon's Pecha Kucha sessions in this year's seminar include six unreleased performances by Venezuelans that propose a project to be presented in 2020:

Phone Call with Antonieta Sosa (Watch the video)
The Venezuelan artist takes our call to tell us what kind of art project she envisions for the near future.

Creating the Future from the Subjective
Diana Rangel y María Bilbao (Read the English transcript)

Diana Rangel and María Bilbao reflect on the contemporary ways and tools of creating meaning in a Latin American context. In this Pecha Kucha, they propose a rereading of art as a private utopia of sorts, as a laboratory of what is possible from the process of producing subjectivities, and argue that this is where the foundation of artistic practice lies.

Let's Kill Doña Bárbara and Other Murders... 
Norberto José Olivar (Read the English transcript)

In his Pecha Kucha, Norberto José Olivar seeks to visualize the idea of the void in Venezuelan national literature, as a reference and mnemonic support in daily life in the country. Norberto José asks: Have we appropriated the characters that summarize our national and private autobiographies? Do these characters even exist?

Devenir 2020 (veinte vente)
Lourdes Peñaranda (Read the English transcript)
In her presentation, Lourdes Peñaranda explains the revival of the largest museum in Venezuela in times of crisis, from a place of multiplication and complexity as opposed to reductionism and simplification, doing so in an effort not to control and dominate, but to dialogue and negotiate with reality, addressing the future not as a utopia, but from its shortcomings as a possibility of transformation. Its proposal violates the permanent, the unalterable in its collection, and grants it legitimacy as a museum in order to accommodate new encounters and associations.

The Exhibition as a War Machine
Grisel Arveláez (Read the English transcript)
For Grisel Arveláez, the analysis of art through the lens of gender is imminent in Venezuela. However, local curatorial endeavors are lagging behind. Arveláez argues that sexuality is one of the most interesting categories of analysis to be addressed within gender theories, if one takes into account that it is a performative discourse (i.e. it is foretold). To approach this analysis through the curatorial constitutes a mirror from which to look at the subversion of gender and the changing capacity of sexed bodies. In her presentation, Arveláez asks: “Why use exhibitions as a war machine?”

Taste Comes from Variety
Ignacio Cardona (Read the English transcript)
According to Ignacio Cardona, fragmentation has become one of the characteristics that identifies the contemporary city most clearly, particularly in Venezuela. Social, political, economic, and of course, urban fractures are a part of it. But these fractured territories also present an opportunity. In this presentation, Cardona proposes to speculate about the links that can help build a social fabric that is supported—and also encouraged—by this fragmentation.

The Crossroads
Érika Ordosgoitti (Read the English transcript)
According to Érika Ordosgoitti, if we want autonomy we need to attend to the mechanisms through which repression operates, limiting and impoverishing our relationship with the environment. Prejudices and paradigms are a legacy we have received from our ancestors and it is one that every generation has had to reconsider. To form a historical vision we must accept the fact that we have inherited a structure of prejudices with which to interpret the world, and that many of these have been castrating and shameful. It is not enough to live up to the circumstance; being satisfied with responding to our historical moment results in mediocrity. We have to imagine other paradigms to decipher reality since the current ones have expired. It is imperative to get ahead of our time, to imagine tomorrow and to assume with our lives that call.

On shows 
And Closures that Count

5:00–5:40 pm
At the end of the second session, Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy and Carmen Hernández will hold a conversation.
(Read the English transcript of the presentation)
(Read the English transcript of the conversation)

5:40–6:00 pm
Closing Remarks (Read the English transcript)
As a conclusion to the day's events, Sofía will summarize the afternoon session and screen the third and final video clip produced for this seminar.


Centro Cultural Chacao
Av. Tamanaco
El Rosal
Caracas 1060


Parallel Events

Workshop: Telling the Image

Tuesday Nov 1, 2016 to Thursday Nov 3, 2016

The workshop Telling the Image, led by Erik Del Bufalo, aims to ensure that artists, critics, artists and theorists of the visual field, curators and the general public have a better understanding of what it means to explain a work and present it for dissemination.

Click here for more information.



MUESTRA, CUENTA - En vivo, parte 1

MUESTRA, CUENTA - En vivo, parte 2

MUESTRA, CUENTA - En vivo, parte 3

Teaser #1 | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Teaser #2 | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Teaser #3 | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Teaser #4 | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Marta Minujín | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Tania Bruguera | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Regina José Galindo | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Alfredo Jaar | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Minerva Cuevas | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Alexander Apóstol Interview | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Eduardo Costa | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Antonieta Sosa | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Javier Téllez Interview | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Jorge Pineda | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Ana María Millán | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Raúl Quintanilla | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017

Natalya Critchley | Seminario Fundación Cisneros 2017 (ENG)