press release

The concept of the exhibit draws on Jean Luc Godard’s use of the jump cut, a cinematographic term that refers to the editing of film shots, causing a disjunctive and visible break in continuity, camera positioning, or time sequence. The work of these Venezuelan artists reflects a break from Kinetic Art, and the idea of modernity as a concept in crisis. Thematic groupings within the exhibition are: Necrophilia, From the Object to the Mode of Representation, The Modern Vernacular, and Art-Thought. These are the jump cuts in the history of Venezuela’s visual art from the 1970s to the present.

Necrophilia The category Necrophilia refers to a manifesto, “Homage to Necrophilia,” produced in the 1960s by a group of radicalartists in Venezuela who called themselves El Techo de la Ballena. The poetic rhetoric of their manifesto, inspired by Surrealism and Dada, used the metaphor of sexual commerce with corpses to address the violent guerilla uprisings in Venezuela and the repressive responses to them by the first democratic government since the overthrow of Marcos Pérez Jiménez’s in 1958. Like Brazil’s concept of Antropofagia, Necrophilia offers a local model for interpreting universal questions in art. The artists included in this category are: Héctor Fuenmayor, Alfredo Ramírez, Sandra Vivas, Diana López, Mariana Buminov, José Antonio Hernández-Diez, Emilia Azcárate, and Aziz + Cucher. With a belief in “the liberating effect of art,” Sandra Vivas (Videos 1994-2004) explained that her work is a “conceptual pastiche that deals with the irony of things from our daily lives, the questioning of certain ideas taken for granted, certain clichés, things that (she) hate(s) like ‘the masculine’ and ‘the feminine,’ its relationship with quantum physics to the pathetic of the personal and History.”

From the Object to the Mode of Representation Artists in this section include: Juan Iribarren, Luis Molina-Pantin, Alexander Apóstol, José Gabriel Fernández, Magdalena Fernández, Javier Téllez, and Alexander Gerdel, who move beyond Alejandro Otero’s influential works of the 1960s. Curator Jesús Fuenmayor questions modernization’s means to perceive “fractures in the social order”.

The Modern Vernacular This category references art movements that responded to different nationalist interests that developed in Latin America in the first decades of the twentieth century. Artists included: Juan Araujo, Carla Arocha, Arturo Herrera, Meyer Vaisman, Luis Romero, Eugenio Espinoza. A centerpiece of this section is Carla Arocha’s Nausea (acrylic on canvas, 2001), inspired in part by the 1995 sarin gas poisoning attack in the Tokyo subway system.

Art-Thought Artists include: David Palacios, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Julia Zurilla, Alfred Wenemoser, Alí González, Sigfredo Chacón and Roberto Obregón. Their work reflects the proposal for a local practice of conceptualism developed by artist and former geographer Claudio Perna in the 1970s. Perna mapped the social and political interstices that were not represented in the modernist aesthetic of Kineticism. A highlight of this section includes Zurilla’s 2003 video Selected Stories from the series Videographic Territory.

Roster of Artists Alexander Apóstol, Juan Araujo, Carla Arocha, Emilia Azcárate, Aziz + Cucher, Mariana Bunimov, Sigfredo Chacón, Eugenio Espinoza, José Gabriel Fernández, Magdalena Fernández, Héctor Fuenmayor, Alexander Gerdel, Alí González, José Antonio Hernández Diez, Arturo Herrera, Juan Iribarren, Diana López, Luis Molina-Pantin, Roberto Obregón, David Palacios, Alfredo Ramírez, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Luis Romero, Javier Téllez, Meyer Vaisman, Sandra Vivas, Alfred Wenemoser, Julia Zurilla.

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Jump Cuts: Venezuelan Contemporary Art, Colección Mercantil

mit Alexander Apostol, Juan Araujo, Carla Arocha, Emilia Azcarate, Aziz & Cucher, Mariana Bunimov, Sigfredo Chacon, Eugenio Espinoza, Jose Gabriel Fernandez, Magdalena Fernandez, Hector Fuenmayor, Alexander Gerdel, Ali Gonzalez, Jose Antonio Hernandez Diez, Arturo Herrera, Juan Iribarren, Diana Lopez, Luis Molina-Pantin, Roberto Obregon, David Palacios, Alfredo Ramirez, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Luis Romero, Javier Téllez, Meyer Vaisman, Sandra Vivas, Alfred Wenemoser, Julia Zurilla