Positions in Context
2007 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition
CIFO Art Space, Miami │ September 21 - October 28, 2007
Positions in Context proudly presents a group of ten challenging artists awarded the 2007 CIFO Grant. The artists participating in this exhibition were not selected to produce a coherent curatorial discourse. Nevertheless, there is a broad, common ground among all the work: Each is a contextual, artistic practice, and/or site-specific endeavor that involves cultural, political, geographical, and human contexts. These emerging artists offer an unexpected conceptual dialogue with their own cultures; among each other; as a group of disparate artists; and with contemporary culture and art in general.
Four artists: Renata Lucas, Héctor Zamora and collaborators Cecilia Szalkowicz and Gastón Pérsico are presenting site-specific installations concerned with exploring and challenging the limitations and conventions of the museographical arena, both physically and conceptually. Lucas presents an installation with carpet intended to affect the viewing audience's flow and to reconfigure the architecture of the space. Zamora constructs an experimental structure with the aim of transforming the perception of space, and to create an individual and poetic experience. Szalkowicz and Pérsico present an interactive installation, whereby photocopying artworks, the life of the work extends beyond theexhibition space and in to the participant's home.
Addressing the tradition of landscape in art and nature are Donna Conlon and Alberto Baraya. As a meditation on the romantic landscape, and in the tradition of the academic methodology of explorers, Baraya presents a multimedia installation stemming from an expedition he made to observe and study the African palm. Conlon's photographs address the contradictory nature of expansion and urbanization by creating traditional and idyllic landscapes with found debris.
Examining consumer culture in a global world are Luis Molina-Pantin and Ángel Poyón Cali. Molina-Pantin presents a series of photographs taken on a Royal Caribbean cruise that record the specific aesthetic of the cruise ship, the infinite choice of entertainment provided, and the artificial emulation of nature on these boats. Ángel Poyón Cali(Guatemala) displays a series of drawings dealing with consumer culture by focusing on the role that everyday objects, such as televisions and cell phones, play in people's lives.
Three artists present video installations relating to broad cultural, personal and political issues: Adriana García Galán, Fredi Casco and Emilio Valdés. Through a video and photography installation that registers moments from the "Chiriguano Carnival" in the Paraguayan Pampa Casco's work explores the influence of mass media on popular culture and the complex process of cross-cultural transformation. García Galán exhibits an ironic video installation where two human beat-boxers interpret the end-of-year speeches by American and Colombian presidents, face to face. Valdés' video installation is an existential meditation on a young generation lost between a traditional past and a more ephemeral, superficial, modern existence.
The issues explored in this exhibition-especially, cultural specificity, conceptual strategies and media-are broad and reach far into a shared, international contemporary art arena.
Alberto Baraya (Colombia), Fredi Casco (Paraguay), Donna Conlon (Panama), Adriana García Galán (Colombia), Renata Lucas (Brazil), Luis Molina-Pantin (Venezuela), Ángel Poyón Calí (Guatemala), Cecilia Szalkowicz and Gastón Pérsico (Argentina), Emilio Valdés (Mexico), Hector Zamora (Mexico).