VideoZone2 – TelAviv

The other and the same – Young media Art from Latin America

Un aspecto central de las ciudades densamente pobladas de la actualidad de América Latina es el deseo de un estilo de vida occidental, llevando su imitación con la esperanza de pasar de la condición de “otros” a la de la “iguales” en un equilibrio inestable de sometimiento total. Durante la última década, una nueva generación de artistas de medios ha surgido en América Latina con nuevas propuestas en relación con el medio tecnológico. El uso de una marca global y los elementos de comunicación hace que sea imposible clasificar sus obras como “latinoamericanas”, ya que son omnipresentes en el mundo del arte actual. De este modo asistimos a la transformación de la cultura en un espectáculo global, donde el video es parte de una tendencia homogenizadora, de “hacer que uno se sienta igual”.

Afortunadamente, existen distancias culturales, así como la interacción regional en América Latina es bastante complejo. Desde una perspectiva globalista, esas distancias plantean un problema a la normalización y ofrecen una herramienta analítica para evaluar las situaciones reales que varían entre las ciudades, pueblos y hogares, y prevalecen incluso en la “diáspora”.

Estas diferencias, por las cuales se transmiten identidades, se reflejan en el uso ambivalente actual del arte de medios, desde la producción y la participación en una “cultura popular global” para la construcción de las actitudes locales. En consecuencia, hay ciertas diferencias dentro de la creación de nuevos medios de comunicación en América Latina, como se indica por algunas tendencias recientes en las obras.

Algunos de los artistas más “mainstream” y orientados a los medios de comunicación, ya sea con producciones complejas, o con un mínimo de recursos y sus medios de comunicación de referencia primarios son el cine y la televisión. El arte se ha apropiado del lenguaje postmoderno de la situación del cine, y su universo retrata las ideas que van desde sarcásticos comerciales para películas experimentales (imaginario cinematográfico), o adopta métodos caricaturezcos para representar la ficticia vida real.

Las “unidades” de información de la televisión se están acortando más allá del reconocimiento; su parcialidad es a menudo confusa y desconcertante. El documental, y en especial el documental de los medios de comunicación, interviene críticamente en la dinámica de la televisión, ya que trata de volver a configurar visualmente la historia reciente con el fin de cambiar nuestras actitudes y conciencia mediante la presentación de los temas sociales no como problemas, sino como retos.
Situaciones de dominación y subordinación son posiciones que cambian constantemente. Por esta razón, algunos de los artistas seleccionados son muy jóvenes y, probablemente, completamente desconocidos para el público internacional, mientras que otros habrían mostrado sus obras en festivales a nivel internacional y son parte de la corriente “mainstream”. Sin embargo, en ambos casos se pueden utilizar prácticas de trabajo similares, que emanan de las “mismas” influencias.

Por último, una nota sobre la participación de las mujeres en esta selección: aunque las mujeres han estado siempre presentes en el videoarte, la historia tiende a recordar sólo los nombres de los artistas varones, felizmente esta ecuación está cambiando.

 

Program 1 (total: 50 min)

 

“Documento 1/29”, Ernesto Salmerón (Nicaragua), 2003, 4 min.

 

Documento1/29 is the first part of a series of 29 video documents that the artist plans to rework.  The thematic is related to the memory and the deconstruction of history as well as the formation, consolidation and disappearance of the revolutionary movement in Nicaragua.  The work deals esthetically with distortion and how the media can manipulate history.

 

Ernesto Salmerón (Managua, 1977).  Studied at the School of Social Communication, Facultad de Artes Integradas, Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia). He won the Second Central American Video Creation Award “Inquieta Imagen” (2003). Lives and works in Nicaragua.

 

 

“Cremor Tártaro”, Casandra Tola (Perú), 2004, 4 min.

 

A bizarre and odd animation where different creepy characters (and some extracted from our common consciousness) arrive to a non-place, a space of craziness but also of reality.  A world of rareness communications and complex stimulations occurs during this short 3D animation.

 

Casandra Tola (Lima, 1982).  Studied photography at the Centro de la Fotografía in Lima and then graduated from graphic design and animation at Toulouse-Lautrec Institute in Lima (2001).  Has also participated on workshops of media art, painting and literature. Currently is studying at the MECAD in Barcelona.

 

“Nos vale verja”, Regina Aguilar and Artistas de la gente (Honduras), 2002, 7 min.

 

Nos Vale Verja is a mix of sculpture, installation, video and performances in which symbols of resistance interplay with some cultural and popular icons.  The work was censored from the National Art Anthology of 2002, in reaction it was projected on the walls of the National Congress of Honduras and was also exhibited during a manifestation at the Central of Syndicates of Honduras.

 

Los artistas de la gente.  A collective of five artists of different generations and disciplines led by Regina Aguilar (sculptor) and integrated by Alejandro Duron (graphic designer and video editor), Eduardo Bahr (writer, scriptwriter and actor), Roger Rovelo (actor and theater director), Roberto Buddhe (journalist).  The collective responded artistically to the repressive government by developing situations intended for massive popular participation.

 

“No-latin party” de Diego Lama (Perú), 2003, 2 min 17 s

 

By using two elements in conjunction that come from different origins the work proposes a critical look towards the hegemony granted to the countries of the ‘center’ in contrast to the ones of the ‘periphery’ at international art events of great influence.  In order to make a criticism of the present situation, determined by economic power more than artistic criteria, the video intervenes an emblematic sequence from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather series.

 

Diego Lama (Lima, 1980). Visual artist. Attended Corriente Alterna College for Fine Arts where he received his BA in 2003. He participated in several video exhibitions and biennials since 1998 in United States, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands and several Latin-American countries. In 2004 he received a recognition medal, from the Ricardo Palma University for his artistic achievement, won the first Cinema and Video Biennale (Lima) in the experimental film category and received a “Visiting Arts” fellowship from Site Gallery (UK) and a “Fundación Carolina” (Spain) grant.  Lives and works in Lima

 

“Power Animation”, Iván Esquivel (Peru), 2003, 3 min.

 

Power Animation is a clever and simple approach towards the state of art from a media artist point of view.  In this case, using words written in English (today’s international post-modern language by definition), the video describes a recipe of how to become a media artist reflecting on how art has become prefabricated in a way in which there is no more originality, just recycling for the quick consumers that demand just the ‘hit’ or ‘cool’ stuff.

 

Ivan Esquivel (Lima, 1971). Has participated, since 1991, in many collective visual arts exhibitions. Having studied in the School of Plastic Arts in the Universidad Católica del Peru, he went on to study professional photography and graphic design.  His work ranges from objects and installations to photography, video and graphic arts.  His videos has been shown in festivals in China, Brazil, Greece, Italy, France among other countries and has recently been presented (specially commissioned by the festival) as part of the main exhibition at the 20th World Wide Video Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. Lives and works in Lima.

 

 

“Room for traffic and Mistake”, Manu Sobral (Brazil), 2002, 3 min.

 

Room for Traffic and Mistake mixes archive and shot images, edited in a way to make the perception of real time disappear.  It’s a composition on the mood that intends to liberate the body from its linear temporality.

 

Manu Sobral (France, 1980).  Brazilian video and filmmaker.  Graduated in Cinema from the Paris 8 University. Received a scholarship for the ATELIERS VARAN School for documentary projects, and studied in the USC School of cinema and television, Los Angeles. Worked for the Pop Brazilian Artist Rubens Gerchman, making videos and video-installations. Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.

 

“Un tiempo”, Milena Pafundi (Argentina),  2003, 26 min.

 

This one shot video tells the relationship between a character and the camera. This relationship grows all the way through, playing among written dialogues and glances; all enriched with the landscapes portrait and the picture compositions. By the time it ends, the character has managed to build an intimate connection with the camera (and thus, the spectator) in which even an explicit physical approach is possible.

 

Milena Pafundi (Buenos Aires, 1983).  Nowadays is finishing the third year of the film direction career at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. As part of her professional education she has taken diverse seminars with important theoreticians in the video art area. As a personal interest, she is doing video projections live-edited in all kinds of events. Currently she is working on her first short film in 35mm.

 

Program 2 (total: 52 min)

 

Video Art: The Iberoamerican Legend”, Martin Sastre (Uruguay), 2002, 13 min.

 

In Video Art: The Iberoamerican Legend, Martin Sastre begins by presenting himself as a frozen narrator from the end of time, that tells true lies of the supposed success of Latin American video art in the mainstream scene.  Sastre blames the death of video art on Matthew Barney, and claims a profitable afterlife for himself restructuring the narratives of a decadent media-era that doesn’t know what to worship anymore.

 

Martin Sastre (Montevideo, 1976).  Visual artist.  Runs his own Foundation for Latin-American young artists. Winner of the First Arco Prize for best artist under 40 years old at Madrid’s International Art Fair, ARCO 2004. His recent group shows include: XXVI International Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brazil, “Playlist” Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, Video X Momenta Art, New York, USA,  IIX International Biennial of La  Havana, Cuba and “You Only Live Twice” Man in the Holocene and Wrong Gallery, London, United Kingdom. Some solo shows include: “Martin Sastre: American As Well” Site Gallery Shieffield, United Kingdom and “Martin Sastre: Greatest Hits” Duolum Museum of Modern Art of Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Madrid.

 

“La Muerte de Eros” (The Death of Eros), Diego Lama (Perú), 2003, 22 min.

“The Death of Eros” has been developed as an eight-chapter narrative short film which its significance is based on Greek tragedy works like Sophocles´ “Oedipus Rex” and Euripides´ “Elektra”, however its content, is based on a psychoanalytic process, and narrates the maturation and deterioration of the human mind when schizophrenia takes place, reminding us of our own human condition.

 

Diego Lama (Lima, 1980). Visual artist. Attended Corriente Alterna College for Fine Arts where he received his BA in 2003. He participated in several video exhibitions and biennials since 1998 in United States, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands and several Latin-American countries. In 2004 he received a recognition medal, from the Ricardo Palma University for his artistic achievement, won the first Cinema and Video Biennale (Lima) in the experimental film category and received a “Visiting Arts” fellowship from Site Gallery (UK) and a “Fundación Carolina” (Spain) grant.  Lives and works in Lima

 

“Vacas” Gabriela Golder (Argentina), 2002, 5 min.

Vacas intervenes visually a moment in the life of the city of Rosario (Argentina) where 400 people slaughtered cows when a truck transporting them fell down. Since it was a spontaneous situation, a regional broadcasting channel was the only one that captured few minutes of this situation.  The video deals with an extreme local situation that becomes globally broadcasted and how we could find new ways of representations out of media reality.

 

Gabriela Golder (Buenos Aires, 1971).  Studied Cinema and Hypermedia at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and at the Université Paris 8. Her works won several prizes in international Festivals: Tokyo Video Festival Award 2002, Special Mention Locarno Video Art Festival 2001, First Prize Biennale Bridgestone 2000 and at the International Media Award (video) Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, Germany, 2003.  She has also been resident at several centers, more recently Fellow at the Academy of Media Arts, Köln (Germany, 2002 – 2003).

 

“Bedrock City” Jose Luis Martinat, 2004, 12min 43 s

This video digitally manipulates “The Flintstones” cartoon, removing from the scenes both the sound and the image of their memorable characters (Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Dino, etc..).  The video rescues how consciousness reinterprets typical scenes taking into account details previously unrecognizable; though the camera movements are the same, a windy sound contributes with the solitude of this, now hollow, cartoon.

 

José Luis Martinat (Lima, 1974). Studied Photography at the University of Gothenburg.  Began to work with video since his first year of photographic studies, becoming his main interest.   Has exhibited mainly in the Nordic countries as well as in Perú and Chile.  He is currently doing a Master on art and new media. Lives and works in Sweden.