The 45th Colombian Salón nacional de artistas is centered around interpretations of the central theme The Underside of the Fabric with works that test the boundaries of what we usually call art. Artistic director Alejandro Martín, put together a diverse curatorial team with more than 160 artists from Colombia and other countries such as Mexico, United States, Brazil, Venezuela, The Netherlands and Spain among others.
Two curatorships serve as a general theoretical framework and manifest of the Salon. La fábula de Aracne (Arachne’s Fable) confronts us with works that ponder the invisible fabrics sustaining our reality. Arquitecturas narrativas (Narrative Architectures) inquires into the critical relations between the urban and social fabric and the visual and discursive structures of the comic. Among the exhibits that stand out are Universos desdoblados (Unraveled Universes) and Contrainformación (Counter Information). The former explores reencounters with other dimensions and other times while the latter departs from the superposition of urban structures or models as a way to express ideological, political and economic projects.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the current salon are the projects that escape traditional formats: Instantes (Instants) proposes to expand the way in which the artworks are made present, with works that transfer comfortably from one medium to another. Mitopía (Mitopia) invites art collectives and independent spaces to inhabit a territory based on Hakim Bey’s concept of a “temporary autonomous zone”. Llamitas al viento (Flames to the Wind) follows artists who understand drawing and photography as both a cotidian practice and a vital impulse at the same time. Lenguajes de la injuria (Languages of Injury) explores the limits between the body and language from performative actions, and Espacios de interferencia (Spaces of Interference) explores sound as a fundamental experience, while inquiring into the concept of domestication through residences-laboratories. Todo es radio (Everything is Radio) invites us to imagine radio as a space for collective action and artistic reflection. Antes del amanecer (Before dawn) departs from pedagogy as a series of actions linked to specific contexts, but also as a performative and transforming act. Pastas El Gallo (El Gallo Pasta) turns an abandoned factory into a stage for site-specific interventions. Finally, Cátedra performativa (Performative Lecture) offers an intensive program of performances, conversations and interventions in public space.
The 45th Salon of Colombian Artists in Bogotá, Colombia: 14 September to 4 November 2019
Text and photos: Ana Ruiz Valencia, lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia.