Recently in Latin America an artistic movement has emerged whose contribution to the contemporary artistic scenario is innovative and creative.

“Archivo Sur” not only has received a positive welcome from specialized critics but it also represents an opportunity to approach a region that has gone through deep social, political and cultural transformation.

The language used by artists belonging to this movement plays an important role in the world of imagery. What comes to the surface is a collection of phantoms that keep a fundamental realism, even in the most visionary or hallucinated constructions, to generate important questions around concepts like identity, race, class, religion, gender and sexuality. Diversity is emphasized by multiplicity and deformity, by means of visions of social and ethnical gaps. Unconscious fears are explored in their inevitable relationship with anxiety, deriving from human fragility; therefore carnival and mask become a pretext for fetishism offered to viewers. Experimentation of new media , as well as the revisitation of recent and ancestral memories, are the strategies I was interested in when I started planning this project. The intention underlying such a visual research – which is part of a larger project, aimed at a more articulated strategy – was to show diversity and plurality.

Art has a moral and spiritual responsibility; it rejects any fiction and talks straight. The exhibition shows: “Aequatorlab”, (Maria Rosa Jijon, Juan Esteban Sandoval in collaboration with Fabiano Kueva, ), Alexander Apóstol, Patricia Bueno, Tania Bruguera, Jota Castro, Donna Conlon, Juan Downey, Regina José Galindo, Alejandro Gomez De Tuddo, Diango Hernández, Antonio Manuel, Ronald Moran, Carlos Motta, Iván Navarro. They don’t show exact records, but set up a sarcastic and ambiguous game of ideas, where everyone takes part. Images are embedded with contrasts of sacred and profane, innocence and corruption, good and bad. Dialog through existential questions like: who are we, individuals behind masks? Our nudity exposes our confusion? Or maybe: it is our confusion that undresses and exposes us?

The questions of the former are being answered and emphasized as we do when reading a novel that we don’t wish to forget. Just like when we underline a verse that we want to keep in our memory after closing the book where we found it. These works are pieces and stripes of that memory that is theirs and becomes ours.

Latin America may look fragmented, but it expresses itself as a whole, favoring a restless diffusion of its culture, and with a deep self awareness of its being. Appropriation is used as a tool to communicate, and sublimate an ethic idiom, that explores its will for knowledge.

The language used by these artists: video, film, diaporama, has a precise purpose in the image world, has a realistic character, adventurous and visionary, to build up a “cadavre exquis” of what Latin American identity may represent in our days.

Antonio Arévalo


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