Dilemmas regarding the image in contemporaneity

Friday Mar 16, 2018


The seventh edition of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros, Disruptions: Dilemmas Regarding the Image in Contemporaneity, conceptualized and directed by Ileana Ramírez, Program Director of the CPPC, will take place on March 16, 2018, at Centro Cultural Chacao, in Caracas.

As in previous editions, the seminar program includes a wide range of presentation formats, from lectures to workshops and editorial contributions. It also involves several collaborators in the conceptualization and creation of parallel programs such as architectural tours and film and video cycles. The main event of this seminar is a one-day conference.

The seventh Seminario Fundación Cisneros will consider art’s links with politics. This art-political connection is important because it operates as a model for the construction of new subjectivities, and encourages the questioning of what Jacques Rancière called "the aesthetic and representative logic of art" (The Emancipated Spectator, 2008), as well as its forms of production and its influence on the perception of the spectator. The day’s presentations will put into critical discussion the position taken by images in relation to the temporalities of art and historical events. To clarify this complex network, we will focus specifically on the spaces for art and politics, distinguishing the areas where they may overlap (the political in art, politics for art, political art, art as public action, citizen political action).

In Disruptions, we hope to recognize the articulations between art and politics in contemporary culture, selecting specific cases in which, on one hand, the contradictions that occur there are evidenced through a critical viewpoint that allows the work to be valued, not only for its formal aspects but also for the intentionality of the artist. On the other hand, the use of new technologies and media that have modified the forms of production and circulation of images invite us to think about what constitutes the viewers’ space and their considerations in assessing perception. Data and information will also be collected around relevant social and political phenomena, generating debates that will fuel reflection. Finally, activities will be promoted through experimentation, will clarify these issues in practice, and produce unedited contents that serve as a referential framework for future research.

Focus and Content

The seminar will cover three main points of development. The first part will focus on the use of images with the presentations of Erik Del Búfalo and Marilé Di Filippo. The second part, Historical Inventories, will address the issue of activism and social protest through experiences that have occurred in different places and have marked a significant moment, with presentations by Miguel A. López and Elizabeth Marín.

In the third and final thematic axis, New Media, the presentations of Rosina Cazali and Leticia Obeid will directly address the technologies that have created a field of new professions with unique politics, where appropriation and translation expand their dimension in other spheres of power.

Much theater is also a relevant discipline because of its political vocation, and we will have the participation of the live arts collective Los Peces del Guaire, a multidisciplinary enterprise that will invite us to reflect on contemporary notions of freedom of thought, equality, and human rights through dynamics that call for the participation of the public.

Finally, a set of short presentations in Pecha Kucha format will focus on various topics, including: notions of the image; forms of representation and the scope of power; and the possibilities of change in public space. Rodrigo Figueroa and Iván Candeo will posit a historical perspective; Elisa Silva will explore the image as a new form of the word and representation; we will investigate further into this digital age through a poiesis generated by decoding or "hacking" by Yucef Merhi, and we will learn about listening through perception via sound, image, and speech with Gil Samson. To conclude this section, Erly Ruiz will examine the importance of the meme as a new form of language to recreate the world from the everyday.

Additionally, 6 texts have been commissioned for publication on the CPPC's website from María Virginia Jaua, Felix Suazo, Sandra Pinardi, Bernardo José de Souza, José Luis Barrios and Albeley Rodríguez, on significant features inherent in the relationship between art and politics, and their relationship with the image in varying contexts of contemporary art in Latin America. Those texts will be published here on this website.

Within the framework of the seminar, artist and filmmaker Carlos Castillo will offer a workshop on moving images in the independent space ONG in Caracas. We will also have a film and video cycle selected by Iván Candeo and, finally, we will extend the seminar experience with an architectural tour through the city of Caracas designed by LuisRa Bergolla and the organization CCSen365.

About Seminario Fundación Cisneros

Initiated in 2011 by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), the Seminario Fundación Cisneros is held annually. Disruptions is its seventh edition. From its second edition until the sixth, the seminar was conceptualized by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, former curator of contemporary art at the CPPC. The conceptualization and direction of Disruptions is headed by Ileana Ramírez, Director of Programs of the CPPC from its Caracas offices. 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 addressed issues of copyright; in 2014, Ways of Learning explored ways of understanding the world through art; and in 2015, After Landscape offered decolonizing perspectives of the traveler. In 2017, Show and Tell examined influential cultural producers and ground- breaking exhibitions in Latin America.

The seminar has taken place in various locations in Caracas and has always been documented on video. This video-record is published shortly after each event to our website, remaining accessible to date. In this digital platform, commissioned texts and other material related to the topics that are addressed in each edition of the seminar are also published. Access to the event itself and its documentation is free of charge. Online registration remains open for the event in advance until capacity is reached.

The Seminario Fundación Cisneros brings national and international speakers to a broad audience. Around 500 people attend each edition on site. The majority come from the Greater Caracas area; approximately 15% of the public travel from the interior of the country to attend the program. In each edition, around a thousand people are virtually connected to the seminar through the web. The audience of the seminar is intergenerational, with an average age of 35 years. It consists mainly of students and teachers in the fields of art, architecture, and literature, as well as art professionals, cultural producers, and writers. People who attend the seminar’s parallel activities, such as the workshops, are mainly emerging artists and curators.

Disruptions Portal

For all of the documentation videos of the presentations from Disruptions, in addition to all articles commissioned before and after the event, please visit the Disruptions Portal page.

Program for the Day

PDF icon Download Program (126.66 KB)

8:00–8:45 pm 


When you arrive at Centro Cultural Chacao, come to the registration desk and show the ticket you received when you registered online. Here you will receive basic information about the program, as well as some Question Cards, so that during the day you may write down questions or concerns that you would like the speakers to address during the conversation sessions.

8:45–9:00 am 

Diverse Connections: Projection of video works from the CPPC (a selection)

Have a seat. Before starting the seminar we will scrreen a selection of videos from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in the theater.

9:00–9:20 am 

We Begin

The Director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, welcomes us to the seventh edition of Seminario Fundación Cisneros, entitled Disruptions: Dilemmas Regarding the Image in Contemporaneity. Then, the Director of Programs at CPPC, Ileana Ramírez Romero will give a brief introduction to the ideas of the seminar and to the activities of the day.

9:20–10:50 am 

Session #1: The Place of Images

The first session of the seminar includes two presenters, each focusing on the interstices of the political in images:

Art and Politics: The Aesthetic Struggle of the World 
Erik Del Búfalo
Art’s political commitment has always been cosmological, that is to say, aesthetic, giving the world meaning through perception. "Committed” art, so reclaimed for much of the twentieth century, saw itself as charged with the mission of dismantling a previous world that had caused social ills. Jacques Rancière affirms that eminently political art is seen as having the "task of recreating social ties." Therefore, it tends to be a reflection and denunciation, critical and utopian, of society. To be in the vanguard. In this paper, this idea, so pronounced in Latin America, will be problematized and questioned. With this, we really seek to understand the relationship, since Plato as tense as it is opaque, between art and politics.

Conspiracies Between Art and Politics. Recent Artistic and Aesthetic Activism of Social Protest in Argentina
Marilé Di Filippo 
In this presentation Di Filippo will analyze specific articulations, intersections, and interfaces between art and politics starting from the premise that it is necessary to think about these connections in a prismatic way: not linear, but rather, multiple, conflictive, variegated, and promiscuous. 

Tracing a path through different moments of artistic activism and the aesthetics of social protest in Argentina during the last two decades, Di Filippo will address various emblematic experiences from each cycle, reconstructing, in a reticulate manner, the formation of the politics of interpellation, legitimization, and aesthetic intelligibility; the political aesthetics of memory and mourning; and the political aesthetics of hiatus and conspiracy. Specifically addressed will be the ways in which these practices and interventions test new fields of visibility and the enunciability of bodies in public space.

Conversation with the Speakers
A discussion between the speakers and Professor Luis Miguel Isava which will also address a selection of questions from the cards that participants filled out in the morning during registration.

10:50–11:50 am

Session #2: Historical Inventories, Body, and Activism

The second session of the morning includes presentations focused on case studies of activim, body actions, and emblematic artistic movements in the recent history of Latin American countries:

Perrahabl@ and Other Feminist Experiments. Women's Art and Activism During the Fujimori Dictatorship
Miguel A. López
This presentation focuses on works, projects and interventions by three artists working during the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori in Peru: Natalia Iguiñiz, Elena Tejada-Herrera, and Susana Torres. The works of these artists who emerged in the nineties offer alternate possibilities for thinking about the intersections between art, public space, activism, and feminism, questioning the visual repertoire that much of the (masculine) left had consecrated, and also questioning the traditional ways in which institutionalized feminism has communicated. The controversies and discomforts that some of these works aroused resulted from their frontal positioning against the patriarchal logics of governmental, military, and religious power. It is precisely the work of these artists and their feminist concerns that can be read in other terms one of the most significant actions of cultural activism against the dictatorship: Lava la bandera (2000) of the Civil Society Collective.

Bodies, Street, and Activism: The Hungry Proposal
Elizabeth Marín Hernández
The tense situations within our misnamed Venezuelan politics have produced corporeities capable of expressing the discomfort of a society that tries to free itself from what has caused them enormous emotional destabilization. They are bodies that find a way out in the ephemeral performance of protests or public demonstrations, in which a collective performativity becomes present, channeled by subjects aware of the alteration of sensibilities of today, and who suffer from a precarious life. The performative proposals of a collective body emerge from a politics of encounter, active and meaningful.

11:50–12:20 pm
Conversation with the Speakers
A conversation between the speakers and Professor Luis Miguel Isava to approach a selection of questions written on the cards delivered in the morning during registration.

12:20–2:00 pm


You may take this time to eat lunch in establishments around the theater. We also invite you to enjoy the exhibitions at La Caja del Centro Cultural.

1:40–2:00 pm

Diverse Connections: Projection of video works from the CPPC

Take advantage of this time to have a coffee and mingle in the public areas of Centro Cultural Chacao or take a seat in the auditorium. Before starting the afternoon sessions, we will broadcast—as we did in the morning—a series of videos from the CPPC's contemporary art collection that are related to the seminar theme.

2:00–2:20 pm 

Choose the Disruption

Using strategies of the live arts (theater, performance, improvisation, dance, music) spectators will have before them a fifteen-minute action charged with comedy and cynicism that will put pressure on contemporary notions of freedom-of-thought, equality, and human rights.

2:20–3:50 pm

Session #3: New media

The third session of the day includes presentations focused on cases involving new technologies, the relationship between people and machines, and their ability to create new modes of producion of art, new languages, and behavior in the collective:

Politics, Technology and Art Is What Happens Outside of Your Tablet
Rosina Cazali
Digital technology is one of the advances with the greatest impact on contemporaneity, to the point of influencing the concept of 'revolution.' Signals from events and political pronouncements are reproduced on social networks at amazing speeds. But are these networks our only means to link as political communities? What do we talk about when we talk about technology? Is the digital enough of an alternative to be able to think and position ourselves in front of a moment that seems to diminish us as citizens?

This presentation tries to go beyond mere fascination. It seeks to penetrate the artistic proposals that are generating the most acute reflections on the excesses of technology. It is also a bet on the art forms that discuss the term technology, with the desire to rescue their original collaborative sense.

It Folds But It Does Not Break: A History of the Dubbing of Latin American Voices
Leticia Obeid
Neutrality is a problem for language, a practice of flattening identities and also a tool for circulating content in the global era. One of the most illustrative examples is dubbing, the technique by which a language is superimposed on the original audiovisual production. Having emerged at the dawn of sound film, dubbing became an essential translation device, and had a general history and others more particular, depending on the need of countries and language zones. An interesting example of this was Mexican dubbing, which proved to be hegemonic for several decades, becoming the norm for Spanish speakers and modeling a sound and cultural education for the rest of Spanish America. The history of this trade allows us to think about the tensions between the particular and the general, the global and the local, the image and the text, and also the ways in which languages ​​give feedback and preserve traces of cultural transformations, as a live and constantly changing material.

Conversation with the Speakers
A conversation between the speakers and Professor Luis Miguel to address a selection of questions written on the cards delivered in the morning during registration.

3:50–4:10 pm


At the end of the third session we will have a short break to take a breath, have a coffee, stretch, or hydrate.

4:10–4:55 pm

Session #4: Pecha Kuchas

This session, designed in Pecha Kucha format, includes five unpublished presentations by Venezuelan artists, sociologists, and architects, each proposing a practice of new media, appropriation, and new policies in art, images, sound, and words:

Continuity and Rupture. The Arts in Venezuela from the Historical Perspective of the Republican National Project
Iván Candeo and Rodrigo Figueroa
This Pecha Kucha will provide an overview of works of art made in Venezuela from the nineteenth century to the present, in which aspects concerning the Republic and its instances of power are manifested. Through them we will seek to find continuities and ruptures that have marked the republican political history of Venezuela. The works are shown through their documentation in the space in which they are exhibited, circulated or protected at present, trying to show changes both in their modes of representation and their places of dominion.

Datagrams (1998–2018): Hacking as a Work of Art
Yucef Merhi

One of the bodies of work that characterize the oeuvre of Yucef Merhi is that which is linked to the interception of data through hacking. In the last two decades, Merhi has managed to gain access to email accounts of important personalities of power, to the databases of institutional organizations, and recently, to classified document archives. In the same way, he has obtained personal and banking information of Damien Hirst, as well as emails of a former minister of Peru; to mention some institutions and individuals of a public nature.

The presentation that Merhi will perform will focus on this compendium of projects, framed under a concept called 'Datagram,' and ranging from small-format sculptures to monumental installations that have been presented in museums and exhibition spaces in Caracas, Lima, Los Angeles , Miami, New York, Amsterdam, Valencia, and London.

The Production of the Urban Imaginary: Desire, Nostalgia, and Denial 
Elisa Silva

The city is the most complex artifact mankind has generated. It reflects the aspirations and limitations of those who move through and inhabit it. Caracas is also a psychological outcome of “Caraqueños”, full of denials and blind spots; an urban artifact of overlapping incongruities. Citizens and city have not forged a healthy relationship because they do not see or hear each other. There is no possible synchronicity. Felix González-Torres´ clocks do not coincide and not enough curiosity or desire can be discerned to stop the missed timing. The only hope is that chance or malfunctioning may allow the clock hands to convene and encourage the “perfect lovers” to begin a workable process of reconciliation. 

Six Observations about Listening
Gil Sansón

This Pecha Kucha presents six brief reflections on active listening, making use of both visual images and auditory images, in combination with the written word. His intention is to explore the empirical aspects related to the experience of listening in a conscious way.

Logos Meme
Erly José Ruiz
The meme is a 21st century logos, understanding logos as a language beyond its facet of modern reason. As language is multimodal, it is not limited exclusively to the political or psychological dimension. It is more than an artifact, although it is used instrumentally. It is not a thing in itself, but expresses the infinity of the meaning that is woven from the human condition: we create and recreate the world through the logos meme, re-enchanting and extending it from the popular.

5:00–5:20 pm


At the end of the afternoon presentations, we will have a dialog with Professor Luis Miguel Isava who will share his thoughts around the themes that were developed during the seminar.

5:20–5:30 pm

Closing Remarks

To conclude the day's activities, Ileana Ramírez will summarize what was explored during the seventh Seminario Fundación Cisneros

Parallel Events

Screenings Series: Gazes Behind the Walls

Thursday Mar 8, 2018 to Thursday Mar 22, 2018

A series of screenings selected by Iván Candeo, organized in conjunction with the seventh edition of Seminario Fundación Cisneros.

Gazes behind the walls offers us a set of cinematographic works—video and non-video—that show us the institutional gaze and the objectivity of individuals. What do images want when nothing remains except bodies contained within walls?

Session #1

March 8, 2018
6:00 pm
Centro Cultural Chacao

Antoni Muntadas
On Translation: Fear/Miedo (2005)
Color, sound, 30 minutes

Session #2

March 9, 2018
6:00 pm
Centro Cultural Chacao

Pedro Terán
Blancas paredes (1976)
Black and white, silent, 23 minutes

Jean Genet
Un chant d’amour (1950)
Black and white, sound, 26 minutes

Session #3

March 14, 2018
6:00 pm
Centro Cultural Chacao

Regina José Galindo
America's Family Prison (2008)
Color, sound, 54 minutes. 49 seg.

Session #4

March 22, 2018
6:00 pm
Centro Cultural Chacao

Robert Bresson
A Man Escaped (1956)
Black and white, sound, 95 minutes

For more information, please click here.

Workshop: Disruption and Its Consequences

Tuesday Mar 13, 2018 to Thursday Mar 15, 2018

A three-day workshop organized in conjunction with the seventh edition of Seminario Fundación Cisneros.

Dates: March 13–15, 2018
Location: Organización Nelson Garrido (ONG)

Workshop led by Carlos Castillo

The workshop Disruption and Its Consequences seeks a video-practical-visual approach, working on disruption as a starting point.

The three sessions will have a theoretical component, exploring the power of the moving image and serving as a technical introduction to the equipment that will be utilized during the workshop. During the sessions, some previous works by artist and facilitator Carlos Castillo, as well as the proposals (if any) of the workshop participants will be reviewed. The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to the practical work of each one of the participants that will consist of the elaboration of a script and corresponding filming, followed by the exploration of ideas around editing and staging or post-production. By creating something new from what is fragmented, a new discourse will be generated in which value is placed on the enjoyment of the rupture itself. In the abrupt appearance of results that disturb and amaze for its foreignness, at the same time being familiar, what remains is the consequence of the act. 

For more information, please click here.

Walking Tour: Foundational Checkerboard. Politics, Architecture, and City

Saturday Mar 17, 2018

An urban walking tour organized by Collectivox, through its program @CCSen365, in conjunction with the seventh edition of Seminario Fundación Cisneros.

Saturday, March 17, 2018
8:30 am­–12:30 pm (4 hours)
Registration opens on March 12, 2018, via application posted on Instagram, and will be open until spaces are filled
Maximum participants: 30 people

Free of charge

Organized within the framework of this year’s Seminario Fundación Cisneros, Disruptions—Dilemmas regarding the image in contemporaneity, this urban tour has been designed by Collectivox to (re)interpret and give value to those architectural works in Caracas that translated the political thought of three presidential military figures: Antonio Guzmán Blanco (1870–1877, 1879–1884 and 1886–1888); Marcos Pérez Jiménez (1952–1953 and 1953–1958) and Hugo Chávez Frías (1999–2001, 2001–2001 and 2007–2013).

In chronological order, and on foot, the route will (re)visit some of the public and patrimonial buildings that were built around the historic area of Caracas. They will serve as the guiding thread for interweaving the memories, values, and ideologies that guided their promoters during these long hegemonic governments.

A group of invited guides will join this tour, who will share information capsules about their experiences and attachments to the sites and authors that will be (re)known. With each of the buildings, we will try to provide a brief but emotional narrative that allows us to understand the interrelation between politics and architecture and its impact on the urban profile of our city.

For more information, please click here.