Tamal, Compadres Recerdos y Silverio en vivo Gabriel Sierra, (Día de frutas) & Nubes negras
El Bodegón (arte contemporáneo - vida social) calle 17 # 4-80 (501), Bogotá, Colombia (00571) 3342975 / (00571) 3003406167 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.lebodegon.org
Colección de juguetes Bartoplás
Galia Eibenschutz, Dibujos Manuel Kalmanovitz, Recortar es vivir
Los Claudios de Colombia, Homenaje a dos grandes People partyin’ at a Pelanga Ligera’s concert
Sylvie Boutiq, Homenaje al Brady
Wilson Díaz performing as a part of Anotaciones, incidentes y artistadas
El Bodegón is an independent space managed by artists. Different kinds of events take place here: art shows, parties, concerts and launching of magazines, music records and videos. It is located in the corner of carrera 2nd and 22nd A street (cra 2 #22A-08) in a neighborhood called Germania (also known as Las Aguas) in Bogotá, Colombia. This is a peripheral zone attached to the downtown, the population who inhabit this zone is afflicted by different kinds of problems: unemployment and sub employment, low educational level, use and expenditure of drugs, unfavorable conditions for housing, among others. Surprisingly enough, this neighborhood is located between two of the most renowned private universities of the city (Los Andes and Jorge Tadeo Lozano), where a high percentage of the art students in the city study their career; that’s why, since El Bodegón was inaugurated, the neighborhood has gained visibility and the neighbors have been able to develop an unofficial and transitory economy around the events we carry out. It is not a commercial gallery and until now its members have financed the space by paying a monthly quota for the general maintenance of the place (rent, public services, setting up expenses and printing of flyers and critical documents about the exhibitions). It started as a group idea, the intention being to create a space where alternative practices, emerging artist’s projects and works with a critical content could be shown. Its program of exhibitions has as its core the dialogue and friction between different processes and contents and, often, the contradictions between them. All events taking place in El Bodegón last only for one night, the opening is also the closing, as a way of underlining the active and transient nature of the works shown here. It is more a happening
than part of some cultural industry; it’s a sort of TAZ1, alive one moment and then closed until something else emerges. The art shows and launching of different cultural products have a solid conceptual base that expects and demands an active response from the public. Parties, concerts and other activities intend to create a space where artists, students and people who live in the neighborhood can get together informally to gossip, hang out and have fun. We think that this apparently trivial component of shows is fundamental to move people. We believe that boring proposals usually repels critical thinking; like Benjamin, we can say, “the destructive character is young and cheerful. For destroying rejuvenates, because it clears out of the way the traces of our own age; it cheers up because every clearing away means, for the destroyer, a complete reduction of his own condition, indeed, the extraction of its root”. Since October 2005, El Bodegón has been active in several fronts and only now, after almost two years of research, we can start seeing that there are different axes to our activities. These ideas have allowed us to clarify what our destination could be and has allowed us to plan accordingly; now, it is clear we want to continue nurturing an independent artistic community where interaction and socialization is not mediated by the ideas of lucre and where works of art are not only comfortable or spectacular and, therefore, simply seek to reinforce the status quo. Until the present we can divide the work we have done in four distinct areas: 1. Art shows: Between October 2005 and July 2007 we have organized 22 shows with artists both young, emerging and consolidated, Colombian or foreign born, to show different processes of creation and thought. The shows include the retrospective of the failures, fights and conflicts in the professional history of Wilson Díaz; the complex construction of Gabriel Sierra, where scientific concepts and colonial policies were explored by offering fruit juices to the public; the semi pornographic videos, possibly ‘machistas’, of the Mexican Napoleón Habeica, and the radical showing of a surgery done on the artist Liliana Vélez. All the shows are accompanied by a critical text that, unlike the local gallery world, does not pretend to dumbly exalt, in a propagandistic and never detached way, the artwork. Rather, the text opens the possibility of debating, questioning and exploring the possible meanings of the works shown and the contexts where they exist. 2. Parties and concerts: Fifteen bands had shows last year in El Bodegón, representing all kinds of genres, from Mugre’s goth polkas to the reggaetón-core of Los Compadres Recerdos. In the last 10 years, Bogotá has lived a strange process, where the riskiest musical experiments in the city went underground, erased from the mainstream by DJ culture and bands with commercial aspirations created to become famous after playing in Rock Al Parque, the megafestival organized by the major of Bogotá. Only around 2005, some of these ‘discriminated’ bands started to find spaces where some visibility could be achieved. Nevertheless, many of these have a very narrow focus while some others have established themselves as moneymaking enterprises with no room for clearly marginal bands. That is why we have made such an eclectic selection of bands that have played together in El Bodegón, allowing a mixed crowd that sometimes exists in an altogether different sphere than the local art world. 3. Seedlings: Facing the lack of spaces for visual arts students to show their thesis, because commercial galleries are uninterested and universities have no specialized spaces, El Bodegón has, since last year, opened a program geared towards showing these projects. The program, called ‘Seedling,’ allows future professionals to install their work in El Bodegón where it is announced and promoted thru e-mail and out website. Unlike other spaces, El Bodegón doesn’t demand money or any other compensation from artists in order to show their work. In the same vein, we do not demand or take a percentage for whatever gets sold here. All transactions take place between artists and buyers, thus escaping the parasitic circle that ties artists to local galleries in rather unjust conditions. 1 The abbreviation TAZ refers to Transitory Autonomous Zones, a concept appropriated from Hakim Bey to point at the appearance and disappearance of places for happenings that take place and are extinguished to let new things appear, giving a meaning to the non lasting condition of events whose existence is linked to a particular moment and place.
4. Magazine & Media: Starting with a small fanzine, published thanks to the invitation of MDE 07 where we were one of a handful of invited spaces, and to our newly constructed web page, we plan to start two new projects this year: first, we want to continue publishing the fanzine in an electronic format (and printed on paper whenever feasible) and to make a monthly online radio show. Both projects intend, in a less formal and carefree format than the art shows, to comment the events happening inside the local art scene, to interview different cultural producers, to promote independent local music and to talk about the spaces, both formal and informal, where the community interacts. 5. Residence program: Last year we received five mexican artists in order to exhibit their work or playing their music on stage at our space: Napoleón Habeica, Ingrid Hernández, Galia Eibenschutz, Silverio and Miki. Some of them had been hosted by the members of El Bodegón at our own houses, with all the limitations and problems that it involves for the artists. Because of it, we want to adequate a new space in the neighborhood in which the artists could stay and work comfortably. Our goal is to have three international artistic residences per year, a month each one, and three more from province artists. The residence will include a space for work and living and, if possible, air tickets for the international guests. Our interest with this program is to generate dialogue and confrontation spaces in which the local scene could get involved with new practices and concepts, and the residents have the opportunity to put their work and ideas on a new and complex context.
The internal structure of El Bodegón tries to be horizontal and to be nurtured by dialogue and conflict. Midway between a gang and a museum, it wants to generate pedagogical processes centered in its own way of working, based in the appraisal of mistakes and on being conscious of failure. Its members are students and university professors who share different tasks that must be completed for each event (design, curatory, setting up and management) and participate in equality of conditions in each one of the debates in which the programming, projects and direction the place must follow are decided. About four months ago, El Bodegón legalized its situation, constituting itself as a non profit Foundation registered in Bogotá in order to get possible donors and sponsorship that would make the project feasible in the future. We understand the nature of the space as an experimental lab, in which discussions around the practice itself should be at first place. The commercial activities derived from there are not our business. Nevertheless, we hope the space will gain visibility and respect, making attractive the project for other international foundations, local institutions, grant programs and particular donors. From its beginning, distinguished by the silence of the Cultural Institutions, and the lack of trust of commercial galleries and art collectors, we begun congregating a number of visitors which constantly increases, mostly university students, emergent and intermediate artists, and neighbors, consolidating our position as a space for exhibition with a proposal that highly defers from the one that has been offered in Bogotá until now. In fact, during this year, we have received an average of 400 visitors per event (which keeps increasing), mobilizing around 900 people each month, concentrated in two or three monthly events that last for a night. In addition, for the last year we have carried out more events than any artistic space in Bogotá. Thanks to our interest in the construction of a critical model, we have been able to access to different diffusion spaces which has let us interact with a group of people constantly increasing. This has twisted in a radical growth of our expositive platform, visibility for the project, (With its consequent increase of different proposals) and the rise of new questions, concerns and platforms, which need resources that are beyond our possibilities. It is during this process that El Bodegón was invited to participate in the International Encounter MDE 07, and as invited curators we presented Edwin Sanchez, a young artist with a proposal around marginality as a privileged position to build up a discourse, for the edition of pilot 03, launched during the last Venice Biennial.
We have recently established contact with other spaces and groups in Latin America looking forward to accomplish projects together and to make different kinds of interchanges: La culpable (Lima, Peru), Mordedura (Neuquén, Argentina) and Perros Negros (México DF) among others. Members: Natalia Ávila, Edwin Sánchez, Juan Peláez, Paola Sánchez, Lorena Espitia, Cindy Triana, María Isabel Rueda, Humberto Junca y Víctor Albarracín. Former members: Juan Manuel and Isabel Lara, Alfonso Pérez, Liliana Parra, Juana Luna, Carlos Bonil, Francisco Toquica, Kevin Mancera.
Appendix Events produced since 2005 Events 2005 «November 4th: Jom Alón. (An opening party to collect funds to finance the painting of the rather run down walls of the space). «November 25th: Se acabó esta mierda [This shit is over] (Party to commemorate the end of term in the universities close to El Bodegón). Events 2006 «January 13th: Silverio, Tamal and Compadres Recerdos live. (The absolute star of the Nuevos Ricos Records, the kings of the goth electro-cumbia and the obscene sounds of the only band in the world that plays regggaetoncore in a memorable concert). «February 3rd: Wilson Díaz, Incidentes, anotaciones y artistadas [Incidents, notes and artisty things]. (A retrospective of the difficulties, fights and failures of the most important Colombian artist of the last 20 years). «February 11th: Collective show, El marco es lo que vale [The frame is what’s valuable]. (A show of awful paintings for dining rooms made by art students, where it becomes clear, once again, that works of art are no more than merchandise). «February 24th: Karaoki Pari 1. (Just a bizarre karaoke party). «March 17th: Short Haircut. (Launching of the magazines Corbata Análoga, Tele-vidente, Short Haircut with a live show by Mugre). «March 24th: Efrén Aguilera, Retrofuturo. (Collages that illustrate recent transformations of the body and the interaction between men and machines. Pure colombian New Flesh). «April 8th: Fiesta de 15, organized by El Bodegón at ¡¡¡Socorro!!!, a friend’s bar (Just a party for frustrated sweet sixteen girls, featuring many cliches about national identity, machismo and bad taste). «April 12th: Zombie Movement of Colombia: Launching of the presidential campaign of Virgilio Barco Vargas for 2006-2010. (Launching of a candidate who was an ex president of Colombia and also already dead). «April 21st: Sylvie Boutiq, Homage to the Brady. (A homage to cult cinema and to The Brady, a parisian cinema full of clochards and drunks. Testimony of a different age, where going to see a movie had nothing to do with the mall). «May 5th: María Gabriela, Goldverio and Miki live. (An event that copy-cats the Mexican label Nuevos Ricos. Since we couldn’t bring all the label’s stars, we made our own versions to join the one and only Miki). «June 2nd: Lila Parlante live. (An experimental band from Bogotá whose music recalls electronic free jazz, Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk and Laibach). «June 23rd: Karaoki Pari II. (An encore, due to popular demand, of our classic karaoke party) «June 30th: Gabriel Sierra, (Día de frutas) & Nubes negras [(Fruit Day) & Black Clouds]. (Using fruit juice, wooden floating structures and political ads, Sierra puts into question Western modes of representation and its way of appropriating nature). «August 18th: Liliana Vélez, Untitled (The recording of a grotesque surgical procedure done on the artist and a collection of stories where she assumes the role of prostitute, stripper and drug addict, to makes us think about what lies behind the mass of her breasts). «September 15th: Lorena Espitia, Menufactura (Paintings inhabited by the baroque, the intimate diary and the Trix bunny, that talk about the value of craftsmanship and the nature of love).
«September 22nd: Ingrid Hernández, Hecho en casa [Homemade]. (Photographs taken by the Mexican artist in shanty towns in Tijuana, Baja California, and Bogotá that show mutating architectural devices and the true value of every day collages in contemporary culture). «September 29th: Launching of Tropicalgoth magazine. (An editorial project of María Isabel Rueda where shadows of the cult of death live next to tropical dusks in a beach full of palm trees, with a live show of Dick el Demasiado). «October 13th: Group show, Gallo fino (en cualquier corral canta) [A fine rooster (sings regardless of the pen)]. Works by Lucas Ospina, Juan Mejía, Giovanni Vargas, Jaime Tarazona, Miler Lagos, Ana María Villate, Carolina Calle, Alejandro Mancera and Carolina Salazar. (Lots of references to the humourous and absurd nature of popular sayings, the shiniest example of what’s known in Colombia as ‘Popular Wisdom’). «October 20th: Los Claudios de Colombia: Homenaje a dos grandes: Noel Petro y Antonio Caro [Homage to two greats: Noel Petro and Antonio Caro]. (A live tropical music show that builds upon, questions and pays tribute to the works of the most representative Colombian conceptual artist). «November 3rd: Live show with bands from Zombie Records. Agrikúltor, Chite, Superninja 3066, Sexy Tuna Cafam and Hell Dogs. (Punk, Hardcore, Grindcore, Pop and Psychobilly bands get together thanks to having little or no similarities among them). «November 24th: ArtBodegón 2006. La mirada del coleccionista. El ojo acrítico de Luís Hernández Mellizo [The collector’s gaze: The acritical eye of Luis Hernández Mellizo]. (We take the name of one of the most prestigious art show cycles in one of the most prestigious institutions in Colombia to show that beneath the idea of collecting lies a purely capitalistic impulse). «December 1st: Napoleón Habeica, Untitled. (Videos of girls kissing, stripping and running naked in a forest where enough to leave us pretty much speechless, a very rare thing). «December 2nd: Pelanga Ligera live. (The best tropical music band of Colombia joined us to open the Christmas season. We also had a delicious selection of local cuisine plus art jokes).
Events 2007 «Feb 20th to March 20th: El Bodegón was invited to MDEO7 in Medellín: Group show Hostipitalidades: Belleza y delito con función social [Hostipitalities: Beauty and crime with a social role]. Several talks and a party called El Abominable sonido paisa [The hateful paisa sound]. «March 1st: Conference by María Linares: The Intricate Journey. «April 13th: Kunstomerservice, Introducing the band. (Fine paintings next to strange fungi formations on the walls where one could faintly see the faces of great figures of Colombian art). «April 20th: Group show Hostipitalidades [Hostipitalities]. (Repeat for the local public of the show presented in Medellín). «May 4th: Diego Piñeros, Rescue me – Please, please, please. (A meditation about the myth of the unhappy artist based on the work of a young successful artist that uses failure as its material). «May 18th: Galia Eibenschutz, Drawings. (Drawings and animations by the Mexican artist centered in natural constructions, fantastic geographies and prehistoric comic sketches). «May 25th: Edwin Sánchez, Odio puro [Pure Hate]. (A punch in the face to those expecting art practices to reflect Judeo-Christian moral precepts. Classes of stabbing, robbery to urban infrastructure, fake public documents are among the things Edwin does. He makes us realize that a good artist may be closer to a delinquent than to an
ethnographer). «June 1st and 2nd: Manuel Romero, La visita [The Visit]. (A project with an ecological calling and a somewhat mystical militancy). «June 29th: La mirada del coleccionista: Colección de juguetes Bartoplás de Juan Carlos Acevedo de Figueroa y Villarreal [The collector’s gaze: The collection of Bartoplás toys of Juan Carlos Acevedo de Figueroa y Villarreal] (An inoffensive and very beautiful collection of toys makes evident the crisis that came over an important sector of Colombian industry when a government bent on globalization took over in the early 80s). «July 13th: Manuel Kalmanovitz, Recortar es vivir [To cut-up is to live]. (Collages and sentimental drawings, full of paradoxes and life, made to make the time go by. A work with no fx, but full of affection). «July 27th: Las malas amistades live. (The true idols of local lo-fi, Las Malas Amistades take us by the hand into emotional atmospheres and a history that spans more than 10 years, retold thru drawings, videos and interventions of special guests). «August 3rd: Launching of Asterisco # 8 magazine. (A collective editorial project with local and international participations; A chill out room with old fashioned music, beer and empanadas). «August 10th: Edwin Padilla, Fuego de mar, enciéndete [Fire from the sea, Burn Up!]. (A huge exhibition of photographs about tourism, bad taste and bricollage, by a young artist from the Colombian Caribbean coast). «August 29th: Gabriela Pinilla, Cartillas para aprender historia [Booklets to learn history]. (Launching of an educational project for children consisting in a series of booklets about hidden aspects of the Colombian political history at the 20th century). «August 31th: Launching of Robot # 38 magazine. (The most famous fanzine from Medellin, launch in Bogotá their retrospective issue in an exhibition of previous editions, blueprints and merchandise). «September 21th: Mateo Cohen, De esta manera, no afirmamos ni lo uno ni lo otro [This way, we affirmed neither the one nor other]. (A complex and minimalistic exhibition in which the lenght and variety of the material processes involved in are beyond all theoretical discussions).
Neighbors at Fuego de mar, enciéndete, an exhibition by Edwin Padilla
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Published on Jul 1, 2008
Everything you want to know about us, and never feel free to ask. Exhibitions, concerts, parties, politics, projects and beautiful people ar...