On Telling Shows

October 7, 2016

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. The idea is to encourage a reconsideration of the country’s institutional histories, as well as to evaluate its past and present cultural projects in context, in order to inspire more informed, sensible and renewed plans to improve its field of cultural production. When learning about the seminar’s incentive to imagine projects for 2020, artist Angela Bonadies casually remarked that "2020" implied more a sharpness of vision than a projected time slot alone. Indeed, gaining acuity is one of the primary ends of the seminar.

Organized as an all-day conference, Show and Tell includes numerous lectures. A number of programs have also been organized in conjunction with the conference, and these range from a 3-day workshop preceding the seminar to public round-table discussions the day of the seminar. As an event, the seminar gives importance to bringing together a diverse community and providing a safe space for open discussion—an event where sharing research and exchanging thoughts are stimulated, where methods as tools are provided, and where imagination is inspired. In its own spatial-temporal way, this website is considered an extension of this forum.

With an interest in offering multiple perspectives on some of the case studies that will be presented during Show and Tell, we have commissioned a group of artists, art historians and practicing curators to develop articles for this website. Published progressively between today and the day of the seminar, a variety of articles will elucidate some of the case studies that will be presented in the seminar and, in some instances, will simply expand on its program.

At the conference, lectures will focus on the systems and ideas set in place during the 1960s by three cultural producers, namely, Miguel Arroyo in Venezuela, Jorge Romero Brest in Argentina, and Lina Bo Bardi in Brazil. Speakers presenting on their work are curators Patricia Velasco, Inés Katzenstein and Adriano Pedrosa, respectively. In this website, we introduce two more key cultural forces in Latin America, whose incipient work during that decade also involved new ways of organizing and presenting art: a little known project by a young Juan Acha in Peru is presented by Miguel Lopez, and the cultural work of Fernando Gamboa in Mexico is the subject of a text by Mauricio Marcín.

Three among several exhibitions to be discussed during the conference took place in Venezuela, and articles on this website further develop those: the multi-media show Imagen de Caracas (1968) as well as the group exhibitions CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual (1993) and Desde el cuerpo: alegorías de lo femenino (1998). The first and last of these are presented within the frame of The Hypnotic Show during the seminar, so audiences may experience them through a hypnosis session especially scripted by the artist Augusto Gerardi and the writer Martha Duran for the occasion of Show and Tell. A third script commissioned to writer Jacqueline Goldberg proposes a project for the 2020-decade. Apart from serving as content for the hypnosis session, one conceived by Raimundas Malašauskas and Marcos Lutyens, these three scripts by Duran, Gerardi, and Goldberg will be published here following the live-event.

Additionally, curator Gabriela Rangel contributes to this website an excerpt of a forthcoming essay on Imagen de Caracas, that provides the historical context of this show organized to commemorate Caracas' 400th anniversary. Artist Costanza de Rogatis is commissioned to revisit Desde el cuerpo (curated by Carmen Hernández, also a seminar participant), which locally introduced new artistic genres and subject matter. CCS-10, the all-male-artist national survey of contemporary art is the subject of a conference lecture by curator Jose Luis Blondet; for this website, critic Aixa Sanchez is invited to propose which Venezuelan female artists could have been considered for the exhibition.

The seminar also includes looking into groundbreaking international and regional exhibitions that took place in Latin America during the 1990s. Two of these are Ante America in Colombia and Mesótica II. Centroamérica: re-generación in Costa Rica, each to be revisited with conference lectures by art historians Lupe Álvarez and Tamara Díaz Bringas. As part of this case study focus, curator Magali Arriola is invited to write for this website about Así esta la cosa (1997) in Mexico, a group exhibition exploring installation art in Latin America.

Finally, throughout the day of the conference, a series of interviews with artists in or from Latin America will be video screened. In these, artists comment on the exhibitions that were influential to their practice. The references are remarkably different, each telling of the singular cultural contexts where they have developed their production. All brief and casual, all shot from their home or studios, or, in some cases, during artistic residencies elsewhere, these videos will be progressively posted in this website and our social networks. The interviewed artists are: Alexander Apostol, Tania Bruguera, Eduardo Costa, Natalya Critchley, Minerva Cuevas, Regina José Galindo, Alfredo Jaar, Ana María Millán, Marta Minujín, Jorge Pineda, Raúl Quintanilla, Antonieta Sosa, and Javier Téllez.