On art and ideas

October 6, 2017

Latin America's Living Ruins: El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya

The architectural legacy of utopian mid-twentieth-century modernism in Latin America is filled with buildings that have, in Lisa Blackmore and Celeste Olalquiaga’s words, “troubled afterlives.” Many of the structures have been destroyed, leaving only a “spectral afterimage,” but in Caracas there remains a spectacular example of dark-adapted reuse: El Helicoide, the spiral-shaped mall whose fortunes fell with the overthrown military dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in January of 1958. Blackmore and Olalquiaga trace El Helicoide’s fitful iterations from its inception to its present day use, as a state security forces headquarters and prison.

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June 23, 2017

Repoliticizing Modernity: Military Spectacles in Venezuela

Excerpted from her book Spectacular Modernity, Lisa Blackmore’s statement posits that the political, social, and cultural forces that converged to create Venezuela’s “modern spirit” in the mid-20th century unfolded as a spectacle, revealing the spaces, practices, and aspects of life comprising the combined aesthetic and political agenda of its power relations.

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October 8, 2016

Juan Acha's Creative Engagement: "Paper and More Paper" (1969)

In his work in Perú in the late, turbulent 60s, Juan Acha relinquished the traditional role of critic to become implicit in the collective cultural production he encouraged, and was one of the first to experiment with curatorial formats. However, as Miguel López notes, political circumstances resulting in Acha's abrupt departure from Perú soon after resulted in the relative neglect of Acha's work from this time.

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October 7, 2016

On Telling Shows

The sixth edition of the annual Seminario Fundación Cisneros, Show and Tell, focuses on exhibition makers and curatorial projects in Latin America during the 1960s, the 1990s, and the decade of 2020 to come. The program places special emphasis on cultural production in Venezuela.

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