R E F L E C T I V E A P P R O A C H E S I N C O N T E M P O R A R Y L AT I N A M E R I C A N V I D E O A R T C U R AT E D B Y T O N Y L A B AT
APRIL 19– JUNE 8, 2013
¡Oye, Mira!: Reflective Approaches in Contemporary Latin American Video Art brings together a selection of artists from Latin America who use video as a tool of reflection and contemplation, exploring relationships of identity to site, history, and memory. These artists play an important role as mediators in the geo-political landscape, seeking to place their work within the context of place/ site and the intersection of high culture and daily life. In the featured works, materiality, form, and concept come together in an expression of each artist’s personal values and experience of the world. These range from place-specific issues of social justice and political oppression to the universal concerns of love and family. Featuring works from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, all created in the last 12 years, the exhibition considers a wide range of approaches to production and display, including
the use of the “loop,” narrative structures, sculptural installations/environments, and dialogues with complementary two-dimensional works. Audience participation will also be an integral part of the exhibition through an interactive video lounge and café, and live performances and dancing during the opening reception. Since the early 1970s, the New Genres Department at the San Francisco Art Institute has been a pioneer in performance, moving image, and installation, and a breeding ground for work at the intersection of the three mediums. As one of the first graduates of the New Genres program and now Faculty Director of MFA Programs at SFAI, curator Tony Labat, a Cuban native, has been an integral part of the development of New Genres since its inception. He continues to explore cross-disciplinary art production through teaching, curating, and his own practice.
Edgardo Aragón (Mexico)
Friday, April 19, 6–10 pm Featuring a live performance from Los Jaichackers
Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba) Miguel Calderón (Mexico) Sergio De La Torre (Mexico) Humberto Díaz (Cuba) Felipe Dulzaides (Cuba) Ana Teresa Fernandez (Mexico) Luis Gárciga (Cuba) Claudia Joskowicz (Bolivia) leonardogillesfleur (Argentina) Julio Cesar Morales (Mexico) Yoshua Okón (Mexico) Eamon Ore-Giron (Peru) Amapola Prada (Peru) Maya Watanabe (Peru)
SPECIAL THANKS TO The Kadist Art Foundation
Los Jaichackers (Spanglish for The Hijackers) is a collaboration between artists Eamon Ore-Giron (based in Los Angeles) and Julio Cesar Morales (based in San Francisco and Phoenix). Functioning as a creative consultancy as well as an artistic collaboration, Los Jaichackers produce music, film, sculpture, installation, performance, and music videos as well as curate programs enlisting the talents of bands, guest lecturers, and performers with the goal of tracing the global DNA of emerging musical subcultures in Latin America, the border, the United States, and abroad.
As an artist and a teacher here at the San Francisco Art Institute, my relationship to video has been long, and I’ve been witness to continuing changes and developments. I came to SFAI in the 1970s specifically because the school had acquired a couple of Portapaks—the earliest portable video recording system. The introduction of smaller, more affordable and accessible video equipment enabled an amazing shift in art production, with cameras becoming an extension of the body. These technological advances paralleled the cultural movement of multiculturalism in the 1980s and 1990s, with video serving as an empowering tool for previously marginalized voices. Today, with the digital revolution and ascendance of the Internet and social media, video artists continue to explore questions of content, production, distribution, collection, and display. ¡Oye, Mira!: Reflective Approaches in Contemporary Latin American Video Art highlights artists whose works give international audiences insight into a diverse region of incredible artistic energy that is still grappling with decades of social and political turmoil. That history and context provides a framework for many of the themes that emerge in this exhibition: the importance of place and site; memory in relation to place and history; humor as a sly, potent tool against life’s difficulties; and the relationship of video to
cinematic tropes and the still image. The exhibition also addresses the elastic nature of video, both in format (as pieces encompass video, installation, performance, and social practice) and in expression (with the frequent use of motifs including the loop, repetition, re-location, reenacting, and re-imagining). And of course, presenting this exhibition at SFAI—a pioneering institution in video, performance, and installation through the New Genres program—is both fitting and personally meaningful. As a Cuban coming from the exiled community in Miami, when I first arrived in San Francisco I had been reflecting on identities and feeling the need to inject personal autobiographical content into my work. It was a perfect fit, then, that SFAI was offering a course called Video as a Mirror for the Deconstruction of the Self. Several of the featured artists in this exhibition are also SFAI alumni, and I am proud to see the continued maturation of the language that they developed here as student-artists, and how their works have become part of a global conversation. I now invite the public to take inspiration from the engaged, “reflective” approaches of all of these artists, and join in. TONY LABAT
Luis Gárciga, Destinos Posibles, 2009
Edgardo Aragón b. 1985, Oaxaca, Mexico Efectos de Familia (Family Effects), 2007–2009 Video; Duration varies Kadist Art Foundation Efectos de Familia is a series of 13 videos that dramatize an array of abusive events derived from Aragón’s family’s history and involvement with organized crime. Each episode is an action performed by younger members of his family—two cousins, a nephew, and his younger brother. One boy is shot to death inside a pick-up truck, two endure a brick-carrying competition, another digs his grave, and so on, making the project not only an education in masculinity, but also a lesson about the forced corruption Aragón’s family has endured in the violent pursuit of power. Understood within the broader context of Mexico, under the disaster of its national economy, the artistic use of reenactments is as much about the individual and the ability of Aragon’s youngest family members to avoid such corruption in the future, as it is about a collective social condition of survival and endurance. Edgardo Aragón lives and works in Oaxaca and Mexico City. He graduated from ENPEG La Esmeralda, Mexico City, in 2008. His work has been included in international festivals and venues including the 12th Istanbul Biennial; the 8th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels; LABoral Center for Art and Industrial Creation, Gijón, Spain; Ambulante Documentary Festival, various cities in Mexico; and the Festival of Contemporary Art, Prague. Forthcoming exhibitions include the opening of the young artists program in MUAC-UNAM, Mexico City, the Moscow International Biennale of Young Art, and the International Documentary Festival of Marseille.
Alexandre Arrechea b. 1970, Trinidad, Cuba White Corner, 2006 Video installation; 8 minutes Kadist Art Foundation White Corner is a video installation projected on two protruding perpendicular walls. On one level the work constitutes a self-portrait of the artist, whose image appears on both walls, separated by the corner. The projection on the left-hand side presents Arrechea wielding a machete, while on the right he holds a baseball bat in an aggressive posture. Taken together, the artist appears to be unwittingly attacking himself, a poignant comment on blind fear and the failure to recognize the similarity in the “otherness.” Alexandre Arrechea was born in 1970 in Trinidad, Cuba, and graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana in 1994. In the early 1990s he was known as a member of the art collective Los Carpinteros, which he left in 2003 in order to pursue his career as a solo artist. Since then, his works have often explored the growing prominence of surveillance systems in contemporary society and the fragility, loss of privacy, and disempowerment that result from this obsession with control. Recently, Arrechea’s interest in the limits of the artwork itself has led to his creation of interdisciplinary works in public spaces.
Sergio De La Torre b. 1967, National City, California Nuevo Dragon City, 2008 Video; 14 minutes Kadist Art Foundation This is not in Spanish, 2011 Neon; 1 x 14 feet Kadist Art Foundation
Miguel Calderón b. 1976, Mexico City, Mexico Tropical Vulture, 2009 Video; 15 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Tropical Vulture is a cross-generational project that highlights the artistic influences between George Kuchar, a late Bay Area legend of independent filmmaking, and Mexican artist Miguel Calderón. An experimental narrative video co-directed by both artists, Tropical Vulture blends Hollywood glamour and drama with an all-too-real approach, juxtaposing unattainable desire against the unbearable actuality of daily life. The video, shot on location in Acapulco, Mexico, playfully utilizes a “lo-fi” aesthetic and non-professional actors. The film is part of a larger project that was first presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, in 2010. Miguel Calderón is a Mexican artist and writer. He has worked in various media—paint, photography, video, and installation—and often engages with low-brow aesthetics and concerns. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museu Tamayo, Mexico City; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; the Museum of Natural History, Mexico City; the 2004 São Paulo Biennale, Brazil; the Rochester Art Center, Minnesota; and the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris. In 2000, Calderón received a Macarthur Fellowship for film, video and new media.
Nuevo Dragon City is a reenactment of a historical event from 1927 in which six Chinese were either trapped or voluntarily hid themselves inside a building in northern Mexico. Working with this unsettled mystery, De La Torre’s video inquires into the historical and continuing tensions between Chinese and Mexicans. As such, Nuevo Dragon City depicts a symbolic act of self-entrapment in which six untrained actors of Chinese descent silently blockade themselves inside in an empty Tijuana storefront. As they close off the outside world, their surroundings and actions become a powerful commentary on the social reality of immigrants. This is not in Spanish looks at the ways in which the Chinese population in Mexico navigates the daily marginalization it encounters there. The neon translates as “This is not in Spanish,” making reference to both the famous René Magritte painting La Trahison des images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) [The Treachery of images (This is not a pipe)], as well as signs posted in the windows of Chinese establishments in Mexico. Sergio De La Torre works with and documents the manifold ways in which citizens reinvent themselves in the city they inhabit, as well as the site-specific strategies they deploy to move “in and out of modernity.” De La Torre often collaborates with his subjects, resulting in both intimate and critical reflections on topics like housing, immigration, and labor. His work has appeared in venues from international film festivals, art biennials, public television, and museums to community centers, empty city lots, and abandoned schools. He is the recipient of grants from Creative Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Sundance Documentary Fund.
Nuevo Dragon City
3600 besos por hora
b. 1975, Santa Clara, Cuba
b. 1965, Havana, Cuba
Observador Pasivo (Passive Observer), 2009 Video; 12:57 minutes Kadist Art Foundation
Scene I am Cuba (Scene Soy Cuba), 2006 Single-channel video; 8:18 minutes Kadist Art Foundation
3600 besos por hora, 2002 Video; 60 minutes on loop Kadist Art Foundation
I Am Cuba—Soy Cuba in Spanish; Ya Kuba in Russian—is a Soviet/Cuban film produced in 1964 by director Mikhail Kalatozov at Mosfilm. The movie was not well received by the Russian or Cuban public and was almost completely forgotten until its rediscovery 30 years later by American filmmakers. The movie’s acrobatic tracking shots and idiosyncratic mise-en-scène prompted Hollywood directors like Martin Scorsese to campaign to restore the movie in the early 1990s. In 2006, Dulzaides traveled to Cuba to remake a small part of the film, which became Scene I Am Cuba, a two-fold narrative in which one story line is based on a real event, and the other is the process of turning evidence into the theatrical.
Observador Pasivo and 3600 besos por hora are culled from a vast compilation of videos and performances for the camera. They successfully transcend the local into the global or universal, addressing themes such as memory, surveillance, the routine or familiar, and shared life experiences—in terms of both the political life and the collective social life influenced by the psychological landscape of a shut-off island. Díaz’s work is highly dependent on context: context in the limitations of technology in Cuba, context in the construction of an audience that is grounded on the idea of a shared experience, and context in the daily struggle to find the poetic in the everyday and the quotidian. Humberto Díaz was educated at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, where he currently lives and works. He has exhibited in institutions around the world, including the 8th and 10th Havana Biennials; the European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany; 7th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea; The Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. (Díaz’s work pictured on overleaf.)
Felipe Dulzaides studied drama at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and received an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. A poetic and metaphoric sensibility underlies his practice, which ranges from single-channel videos to video installations and documentaries. Some of his works begin with actions executed for the camera; others use autobiographical experiences to illustrate the emotional stress of cultural displacement or to reveal memory as an unstable process of endless revision. Dulzaides oscillates between his American and Cuban identities, and views his bicultural background as a bridge. He has received prestigious awards from the Cintas Fellowship, Creative Work Fund, Art Matters, and the Rome Prize, among others, and his work has been included in biennials, museums, contemporary galleries, and art centers around the world.
Scene I am Cuba
Borrando la Frontera drawing
Ana Teresa Fernandez b. 1981, Tampico, Mexico Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border), 2011 Video and drawing 3:30 minutes, 14 x 22 inches Kadist Art Foundation Borrando la Frontera is a performance done at the Tijuana/San Diego border. The artist writes: “I visually erased the rails that serve as a divider between the U.S. and Mexico. I painted them sky blue, creating a ‘Hole in the Wall.’ This deconstruction of ‘feminized’ work explores the difficulties in reconciling both low wages and undervalued work via social and political infrastructures, confronting issues of labor and power. The images that I myself perform present a duality: women dressed in black tango dance attire while engaging in de-skilled domestic chores; the surreal within non-fiction. The work underscores the intersection of everyday tasks and fantasy. The ‘little black dress’ reflects the notion of prosperity in the U.S.; moreover, the black dress is also transformed into a funerary symbol of luto, the Mexican tradition of wearing black for a year after a death.”
Ana Teresa Fernandez was born Tampico, Mexico. She received both her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Her work explores the double standards imposed on women and their sexuality through performance-based paintings. Fernandez has completed residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts and Fondation D’Art Jacmel and is a recipient of a Murphy Cadogan Award, Cultural Equity Grant, and Neighborhood Public Art Grant Project. She has exhibited at various art institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Oakland Museum of California; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
b. 1971, Havana, Cuba
b. 1968, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Destinos Posibles (Possible Destinations), 2009 Video; 10:04 minutes Kadist Art Foundation
Vallegrande, 1967, 2008 HD video; 8 minutes Kadist Art Foundation
In Destinos Posibles, Gárciga performs a service in Havana by offering strangers in the streets a ride to wherever they are going for free. In exchange, he demands that the passengers address the question “What do you want from life?” The result is a poignant video within the context of the limitations that Cubans have in terms of choices, desires, fantasies, and longing.
Round and Round and Consumed by Fire, 2009 HD video; 8 minutes Kadist Art Foundation
Luis Gárciga’s work and research since 2003 has been a journey attempting to redefine the invariant anthropologies that appear in less “global” contexts and communities. His videos and installations, which often mix direct recording with fiction and apply relational aesthetics, explore ideas of art as service. Gárciga received a Master’s in English at Havana’s School of Civil Engineering and went on to study art at the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, also in Havana. He has presented his films internationally including at the 8th Mercosur Biennal, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana; and the 1st Biennial of the Americas, Denver Art Museum. (Gárciga’s work pictured with Curator’s Statement.)
Round and Round and Consumed by Fire
Drawn and Quartered
Drawn and Quartered, 2007 HD video; 8 minutes Kadist Art Foundation This trilogy of videos is based on events in Bolivian history and their effect on the country’s mythohistoric landscape. Vallegrande, 1967 reenacts the display of guerrilla combatant Che Guevara’s corpse for the media after his assassination by the Bolivian army in La Higuera in 1967. Round and Round and Consumed by Fire is a reenactment of the shootout and subsequent death of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, nineteenth century American outlaws and leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, who historians believe died in San Vicente, Bolivia. Drawn and Quartered is a recreation of a diorama on permanent exhibition at the Museo Costumbrista in La Paz, Bolivia that depicts the execution of Tupac Katari, a leader in the rebellions of indigenous people in Bolivia who was executed by the Spanish colonialists in 1781. The primary interest in this trilogy is Joskowicz’s use of cinematic space, with long tracking shots that resist habitual viewing experiences of film and television. The use of historical icons such as Che and Cassidy speaks to their continued resonance as itinerant figures who traveled in a pre-globalized era through borders and cultures in order to escape the law or overthrow it. The camera work, and the stylistic and formal devices such as tracking and establishing shots, create narrativistic voids that offer the transference of new political or social meanings. Claudia Joskowicz is a Bolivian artist based in New York and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Her video work draws from the popular imagination of historical events and places and problematizes image technologies, based on how they transmit, mythologize, and decontextualize concepts like history, truth, and memory. Joskowicz is a Fulbright scholar and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. Recent exhibitions include the 29th São Paulo Biennial, the 10th Havana Biennial, and the 17th Videobrasil Festival, São Paulo.
leonardogillesfleur Entity b. 2000, France & Argentina Action 3:02, 2005 Single-channel video installation; 3:02 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Action 26:15, 2005 Single-channel video installation; 26:15 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Myself as a Fountain, 2006 Single-channel video; 18 minutes Kadist Art Foundation leonardogillesfleur describes Action 3:02 as its “first New York blizzard storm at about 5 am. The photographic moment of a photo album which could have been taken by anybody in any familiar situation with the intention to immortalize that moment.” Of Action 26:15 leonardogillesfleur notes: “There is almost an ice-cream store in every corner of Buenos Aires. The family [in the video] is having an ice-cream in the hot summer afternoon. Small tics appear on people’s faces from a fly or the attempt to hold still while the ice-cream top melts or drops off its sugar-cone.” leonardogillesfleur describes Myself as a Fountain: “The couple kissing in the park. Pedestrian pass by with boom box, fire truck sirens and baseball-bat sounds suggest they are in New York. But the kiss is not accomplished and saliva drips from the lover’s open mouth like a fountain of unfulfilled desire.”
The artistic entity “leonardogillesfleur” is the alliance between two artists, Leonardo Giacomuzzo (b. Argentina) and Gilles-fleur Boutry (b. France). Favoring the collective whole over individual identities, the work of leonardogillesfleur explores ideas of collaborative artistic production through performance, video, and sculpture. Not only do the artists refer to their practice in the singular, leonardogillesfleur—which was born in San Francisco and lives and works in New York—was awarded a single MFA by the San Francisco Art Institute in 2004. leonardogillesfleur’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both domestically and internationally including Mexico City, Miami, Buenos Aires, Paris, Prague, New York, and San Francisco, and is in the collections of di Rosa in Napa, California, and ArtNow International. The artists live and work in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and New York City.
Julio Cesar Morales b. 1966, Tijuana, Mexico Contrabando, 2011 Single-channel video; 15 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Contrabando is a work that references the sociological phenomenon in which immigrant economic strategies come to infiltrate urban landscapes. The adaptive nature of immigrants is seen around the world and throughout time, but Morales focuses on the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Latin American immigrant labor force in California. Contrabando is a study of the realities and consequences of exploited labor that simultaneously aims to record the living history of labor. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Julio Cesar Morales is an artist, curator, and educator who works both individually and collaboratively. His work explores issues of labor, memory, surveillance technologies, and identity strategies, and often addresses social justice issues relevant to both local and global communities. His work has been shown extensively at venues and exhibitions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 2009 Lyon Biennale, France; 2008 and 2004 San Juan Triennial, Puerto Rico; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. Morales has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission’s Public Art Program, Fleishhacker Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Levis Strauss Foundation, and Artadia.
Yoshua Okón b. 1970, Mexico City, Mexico Canned Laughter, 2009 Single-channel video; 9:56 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Canned Laughter was Yoshua Okón’s response to an invitation from Ciudad Juárez that asked artists to create works based on their experience in the city. Okón focuses on Ciudad Juárez as a site for many maquiladoras—factories—and on its role within the global context. Canned Laughter is a detailed construction of Bergson, a fictitious factory that produces canned laughter for sitcoms. For the piece, dozens of ex-maquiladora workers were hired both as part of the research process (maquiladoras are highly secretive and it is very hard to know what happens inside) and as actors. Canned Laughter alludes to mechanized processes and to slavery in the age of globalization as well as to the impossibility of translating and reproducing true emotions though technological means. Yoshua Okón’s video installations are built on improvisational narratives created by the artist and his collaborators—performers willing to participate in a game of social chance that may easily spiral out of control. These works provoke viewers to consider questions of social conduct and personal behavior within the context of the authoritative nation-state. Okón places pressure on viewers to question their own attitudes toward power, ethics, and prejudice vis-á-vis class, status, and marginality. He has had solo exhibitions at venues including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Baró, São Paulo; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; and Städtische Kunsthalle, Munich.
Eamon Ore-Giron b. 1973, Tucson, Arizona Bite Work, 2011 Single-channel video; 12 minutes Kadist Art Foundation Eamon Ore-Giron’s video project Bite Work is an experimental, genre-breaking video that is partperformance, part-conceptual, and part-comical, addressing issues of mediation, surveillance, and trust. The main characters in the video wear traditional dance masks of “La Chonguinada” rituals from Peru and attempt to dance while being bitten by trained attacked dogs. Through this act, the dogs simultaneously become sculptural obstacles and dancers. The trained dogs, Belgian Malinois, are used by the U.S. military, Border Patrol, and law enforcement in their fight against terrorism and illegal immigration, and recently became well known for helping on the mission to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden. The musical narrative for the video, composed by the artist and members of the Los Angeles-based band OJO, mixes hints of cumbia with electronic and ambient sounds. The video captures encounters between cultural memory and trauma by using both ritual and performance, yielding the appearance and disappearance of a hallucinatory narrative into a psychological sound experiment.
Eamon Ore-Giron’s paintings, works on paper and installations blend contemporary graphic design, folk and tourist art, and surrealism in a hybridity of Mexican, South American, Native American, and other American cultures. Along with his collaborator Julio Cesar Morales, Ore-Giron creates DJ and audio culture forums under the name Los Jaichackers as well as his solo music as DJ LENGUA. Ore-Giron received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1996, and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. His artwork, music, and performances have been shown at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, New York; MUCA ROMA, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Queens Nails Annex, San Francisco; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
Amapola Prada b. 1978, Lima, Peru La Lucha (Struggle), 2011 Video; 3:01 minutes Courtesy the artist Overflow, 2011 Video; 2:36 minutes Courtesy the artist La Resistencia (The Resistance), 2011 Video; 1:57 minutes Courtesy the artist La Lucha, Overflow, and La Resistencia are part of the series Modelo para Armar: Rehearsing the City, a project that includes six video-recorded actions produced simultaneously in Lima, Peru and New York City. The central topics are notions of the city-as-hub, internal migration, and everyday aggressions. The videos present archetypal and imaginary situations as subjective interpretations of the realities of city life. The subjects of these situations are latent bodies who are activated by a variety of impulses. Participants perform actions in which they confront their circumstances, exteriorizing internal emotional states. Their cumulative individual energies hint at becoming collective.
Amapola Prada lives and works in Lima, Peru. Her practice navigates the intimate spaces within human beings unprocessed by consciousness and expressed by non-rational impulses to create symbolic works resonating with the social conflicts of everyday life. Her performance work has been presented by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics; Performa 11, New York; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico; and the II Bienal Internacional de Performance, Santiago de Chile. In 2011, as a Franklin Furnace Fund Fellow, her solo exhibition Modelo para Armar: Rehearsing the City was on view at the AC Institute in New York City. She received a BA in Social Psychology from Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú.
Maya Watanabe b. 1983, Lima, Peru El Contorno (The Outline), 2011 Video; 4:11 minutes Courtesy the artist El Péndulo (Pendulum), 2013 Video; 15:45 minutes Courtesy the artist El Contorno sketches the notions of being off camera and off stage in a three-channel installation that comprises a triptych. The three screens remain continuous, with no space between one screen and the other; when one finishes the other is starting. The three screens show the same place and the same actors, who leave one screen to emerge in the following. While the sound is constant and uniform, the image is fragmented so the viewer never has a complete and unique vision of the scene. The choreographic movement seems to eradicate the interior and the exterior of the scene, resulting in the dissolution of identity, space, and place. El Péndulo is a three-channel video installation based on the sacred texts from the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions: the Torah, the New Testament and the Qur’ān. The piece explores, from a sensory point of view, formal parallels between texts to address matters of religion while leaving space to contemplate identity and narrative. While three cameras orbit around three actors, excerpts from each book are enunciated in their original—or more representative—language: Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic. The script is focused on the formal similarities between texts, setting meeting points— words or names—that emerge from this polyphonic space to sound at unison. The enunciation of the texts is interspersed with the traditional rhythmic manifestations of each religious cult: Torah cantillations, Gregorian chants, and tilawat of Al-Qur’ān. Thus, the musical progression aims to dismantle the sense of the texts, leading to a word’s phonetical “exhaustion,” with sounds reduced to a space between enunciation and singing.
Since 2005, Maya Watanabe has worked primarily with video. Her pieces have been shown at venues in Spain (Museo Reina Sofía, Círculo de Bellas Artes), Peru (Fundación Telefónica, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima), Brazil (Centro Cultural FIESP São Paulo, SESC Belezinho), Argentina (Museo de Arte Moderno, Espacio Fundación Telefónica), Mexico (Espacio Alameda), England (Nottingham Playhouse), France (Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Paris), and the United States (World Bank Washington, AC Institute), among others. She has participated in the 798 Beijing Biennale – Art District, Amsterdam Mediamatic Biennale, and in festivals such as Videobrasil – Panoramas do Sul and FILE in São Paulo; LOOP in Barcelona; TransitioMX in Mexico City; and Madrid Abierto. Residencies include the Instituto Sacatar, Bahía, Brazil; El Ranchito – Matadero Madrid; and the Cité Internationale des Arts of Paris. Watanabe was a founding member of the art collective Básico and has been a part of the Archive of Young Creators of Matadero Madrid since 2009.
CAFÉ VIDEO Exhibition curator Tony Labat has been an important member of the performance and video community since the early 1980s and is widely considered to be a pioneer of video installation art. Many of his best-known works are dedicated to exploring the notion of the “outsider,” whether artist or immigrant. Another through-line of his work is his consideration of themes closely connected to the field of study now known as relational aesthetics, a term coined in the late 1990s by Nicolas Bourriaud. Works within the relational aesthetics sphere emphasize social interaction over individual experience. For this exhibition, the social context of a local café is an important element that brings people together within the gallery space, providing a venue for interaction and conversation as well as personal contemplation. In the Café Video, visitors will be able to choose from among a selection of videos on an iPad in a jukebox format while enjoying refreshments in a laid-back environment.
WALTER AND MCBEAN GALLERIES SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE
800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133 Gallery Hours:
Tuesday, 11 am–7 pm; Wednesday–Saturday, 11 am–6 pm 415.749.4563 WWW.SFAI.EDU/OYEMIRA
Cover/back image: Alexandre Arrechea, White Corner