Sunday, July 30, 2017

Utopias: Contemporary Latin American Photography, Video and Short Film


Contemporary Latin American Photography, Video and Short Film.

Local Project Art Space  11-27th 44th Rd  Long Island City, NY 11101

June 22nd  through July 9th , 2017      Opening Reception June 22nd  6-9 pm

Pedro Abreu, Sandra Ayala, Rosee Camafreita, Rafael Carabano, Frank Guiller, Patricia Henriquez, Esteban Jimenez Guerra, Delilah Montoya, Miguel Rueda, Catalina Santamaria, Ignacio Soltero, David Troncoso, Evelin Velasquez.

Exhibition Curator: Alexis Mendoza

Historically, art has always been influenced by some combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. At one extreme, a creative being's reward for making work is the satisfaction of the creative act itself. And at the other, art is produced purely for personal joy. The right mix of talent, intrinsic motivation, and external support is needed for a sustainable and vibrant environment for artistic innovation. The autonomy of Latin American culture, which for decades, so considerately used its limited resources to have the greatest impact on the rest of the world. All controversy aside, by deliberately choosing to fund the most promising artists precisely when they found themselves on the brink of a breakthrough, they effectively managed to underwrite a very fertile period of artistic production in Latin American art history. This exhibition explores art‘s autonomy not as a genuine theoretical claim but as strategic one, where the suggestion is that only by claiming that art is indemnified by its very nature against moral culture can we prevent the forms of censorship that art is regularly subject to. But this strategic appeal to autonomy may purchase art‘s freedom only at the cost of denying art‘s power.

Much of contemporary Latin American photography seems haunted by the past, by ghostly apparitions that are reanimated in reproductive media. By using dated, passé, or quasi-extinct stylistic devices, subject matter, and technologies, this art embodies a melancholic longing for an otherwise irrecoverable past. “UTOPIAS” examines myriad ways photographic imagery is incorporated into recent practice and in the process underscores the unique power of reproductive media while documenting a widespread contemporary obsession, both collective and individual, with accessing the past. The works included in the exhibition range from individual photographs and photographic series and installations that incorporate photographic elements.

Here we has drawn unlikely under current conditions, memory, proposing instead a problematization of the same to the extent that we would no longer or with a referential field or with the discursive strategies capable of taking charge of the experience under the operations disolutivas that ideology, while constituting each of the moments of the object has practiced on the disciplines that seek to address it. The memory and dissolved, and could not articulate that experience, today, yesterday. Latin American artists "design" new instrumental, the same strategy, the possibility of entering the territory of this text and of the doubt, and memory-in its many forms- enter only traces, fingerprints, as recognizable entities minimally, since narrated have been imposed and socially, a movement that has come to be called the "Identity. Thus, the recent history becomes unspeakable, beyond the 'facts' that have been shaped by the various devices to be able to organize art and ideology, and the past, near or far, it becomes impossible to articulate what today is a poor imitation of vague experience. This apparent paradox suggests a key to the appeal of the work and, possibly its meaning: the attempt to reconcile-where hope does not deny intelligence-human nature and postmodern vortex. Such haste portrayed in images or natural grace with which shows us what we usually see, it has to remind us what our developed and artificial (human) nature, and in its surprising harmony, to learn again to live together discomfort with that essential. The novelty resides not in the discovery of variants but in the recognition of their legitimacy. There is nothing new in the awareness that Latin culture proposes different solutions; what it is new is that all these solutions are valid. Access to it is no longer to be found by photography within itself but through the interrelation and intercommunication between artists living in and outside the country. History and the changes in it create awareness that culture is too complex to be encompassed through a single approach. It is in the work of artists, regardless the place in this world they live, that we are able to find aspects of our own existence. Latin America fine art it is not just a cultural manifestation, it is also a cultural way of life for those live by it (artists, curators, critics, collectors, dealers, etc.). The work of Latino photographers living in any part of this world, tells us the anxious evolution in the styles and techniques used by them to show us their findings. Cultural autonomy may be defined at first pass as diverging from the traditional aesthetic or values of the audience, and beauty as touching on this sense of aesthetic or values in a fundamental way. The term is highly subjective and audience-dependent, so societal definitions of the terms may be difficult or impossible. They remain intensely personal in interpretation. In “UTOPIAS”, intentional emancipation may occasionally be considered socio-political for its originality and interest, for focusing an aesthetic discipline on something not conventionally considered aesthetically pleasing to the senses. In real, personal experience, the opposite is true, and intentional autonomy is unlikely to achieve emotion in any sense of the word, such as an emotion that parlays into an intentional action. This exhibition is the result of careful looking. It is impossible to pay close attention to all of the details of everything around us during the course of most days. “Content and Intention” provides an opportunity to slow down and appreciate details that just exist, that are not necessarily for something or toward some purpose. Art within our society changes the way people conduct theme self by being part of it. Art can also be about the people, but primarily it is, in itself, an element within the culture experience.

Alexis Mendoza, Exhibition Curator

JUAN PADRON: From Havana to New York

Celebrating Cuban Animator Juan Padrón’s Work


Juan Padrón is one of the most recognized cartoonist/storyteller in Cuban cultural history. Entire generations of Cuban children grow up laughing and reflecting on the past with the characters created by Juan Padrón. From comics books, short films, feature films, series, etc. Padrón witch is in 2017 will be 70th years old, had done it all. Storytelling has long been an integral part of Cuban culture, and this exhibition looks at how stories are told through characters and comic-inspired art to express the contemporary experience. In this exhibition we are examine in what way can this past be relativized with the present, released from its confines along a lineal-temporal axis? Freed from a purely informational thesis, in what way can it be returned to those who produced it? As narrators of artistic production, it has always been the responsibility of the art creators to shape and interpret this story. “Juan Padrón: From Havana to New York”, is an exhibition in conjunction with Havana Film Festival 2017 and will take place at Abrazo Interno Gallery at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center. The selection for this show includes works on canvas and drawings. In general the project analyze two subjects that for a very long time have been part of Juan Padrón’s body of work, one is the Vampires and the first Cuban Super Hero Elpidio Valdes. In his images we see the attempt to develop its own concept of historicism, as is an artistic side that speaks of history, but he develop a process by giving its own application, presented as a fundamental value in his work.

Alexis Mendoza: Exibition Curator

Juan Padrón, Started his career in 1963 as an animator for the Cuban TV Animation Department and as a cartoonist for the Mella Magazine. Creator of many cartoon characters as Kashibashi, Barzúm de Marte and Delfín. From 1964 to 1967 was in the Cuban Navy and the Cuban Army Film Section. In 1967 worked as a cartoonist for several humor magazines with serials like Verdugos, Vampiros, Piojos, Cerbatanas, Zoo-Ilógico and Abecilandia. In 1970 created the most popular Cuban cartoon character, Elpidio Valdés, a Colonel of the Cuban Liberation Army against the Spanish rule. Elpidio Valdés appeared in comic books and in some 30 short films and in three full-length Animation films. In 1979 Padrón started the Filminutos Animation series. In collaboration with the famous Argentinian cartoonist Quino, made the Quinoscopios series and a 108 spot film Mafalda-Minutos. Directed in 1996 Más se perdió en Cuba, a three hour TV animated serial for TeleMadrid, Spain. Director of ¡Vampiros en La Habana! (1985) -The Animation film witch became a cult movie in Latin America and Spain- and Más vampiros en La Habana! (2003). Since 1996 directed CineClips-Juan Padrón, a 300 x 25 second serial for Canal Plus-España and the French FNAC Stores Animation ads for Spain. Have been invited as a Jury member at Film Festivals at Ottawa, Madrid, Bilbao, Annecy, New York and Havana. Has given Animation workshops in Cuba, Argentine, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Spain. He had many Culture Awards among them the Cuban Félix Varela First Degree medal. He received 2004's National Prize for Humor and 2008's National Price for Cinema.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016




Brooklyn Campus, Long Island University
1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel.: (718) 488-1198

MARCH 6th to MARCH 31st , 2017

THURSDAY MARCH 16th   6:00 – 8:00 PM


By Alexis Mendoza

“Spiritual Concepts” examines the work and career of the prominent Latin American master Clara Morera.  The Cuban born artist’s artworks access the memory to connect with the spectator, construct and deconstruct the concept of identity. This exhibition explores art‘s autonomy. The memory has an important role in the formation of identity. “Spiritual Concepts gathers works that construct an universe, created out of the documentation employed by human beings to access the past. The artworks in the show somehow are linked in each viewer’s mind to the chain of his or her own experiences and memories. The artworks speak to the manner in which individuals develop their own ideas, hope and visions. Morera’s virtuosity lies in her use of unconventional materials, nuanced aspects of the work that are interwoven through her treatment of scale and color. Its improvisational elements do not exclude us from a visual harmonics that allows for contrapuntal and spatial intervals in the form of coloristic spacing and overlays. This lets the eye easily move through the length and breadth of the work. The result is performative artwork that moves us emotionally. A series of coloristic sweeps and eddies, one giving way to another, happens in endless progression. Environmental saturation and compression modulated by a sense of movement. During the process of creation Clara Morera uses her own individual world of ideas, which she tries to express in her own individual language. In doing so she must be aware of the fact that everyone by far doesn’t understand such language. Therefore she must transform the language of her art into universal symbols and archetypes, because they exist within living memory out of time and reason and the beholder is enabled to recognize and revive them. An artwork shows an idea to her audience by uncovering all the recognizable aesthetical values by means of its physical matter and spiritual presence.  Such artworks are capable of initiating admiration and delights in the beholders mind and can penetrate into the consciousness as an idea.

Clara Morera is part of a generation of Cuban artists that create art fueled by the belief that artistic creations could present a form of utopia, expressing some type of independence an inversion of the original premise that drove the Cuban avant-garde and serve as a model for a new society. The color, as it turned out, is the matrix of memory, and within it, the images surface, utopias and its denials. On the other hand, the eye is open to spontaneity, as casual, everyday face of the extraordinary, as un-quantified, interaction with others, to highlight the ability to transform the place, organics elements are working to that alive artwork cannot afford to resign. El arte contemporáneo reciente ha focalizado muchas de sus prácticas en estos campos de experimentación, recurriendo de forma habitual a la arquitectura y la ciudad como soporte para sus propuestas. Contemporary art recently has focused many of its practices in these field trials, routinely using the constructivism and the craftsmanship as support for her proposals. Partiendo de esta retroalimentación, el artículo expone tres tácticas del arte contemporáneo desde las que poder experimentar nuevas vías para una arquitectura más atenta a procesos y correspondencias que a resultados formales. This is the predominant character of the artist’s point of representation.  El conjunto de artistas poblanos reunidos por Carlos-Blas Galindo, entre los que tengo el honor de ser también seleccionado, ofrece la oportunidad de afirmar lo que he anotado en varias ocasiones señalando una serie de artistas que aunque no sobresalen entre las figuras más mencionadas en la palestra comercial de los artistas poblanos, representan vitalidad, visión y compromiso con el pensamiento artístico, y es por eso que muchas vecesThe depth formal appraisals sculptural in Clara Morera responded to a developed skill and craft to the handling of material which enters the essence of it, offering unusual aspects conjunction with the heterodox ideas and painting, Nicolas Bourriaud en su polémico texto “Estética relacional” (1997) define el arte relacional como aquel que tiene por horizonte teórico la esfera de las interacciones humanas y su contexto social, frente a la afirmación del espacio simbólico y privado.defines relational art as having theoretical horizon for the area of human interactions and social context, as opposed to the assertion by the symbolic and private space. 

Clara Morera (b. 1944) studied at the National School of Visual Arts in Havana and graduated from San Alejandro Academy of Arts.  She was a member of the famed Grupo Antillano - a group of artists that articulated a vision of Cuban culture that privileged the importance of Africa and Afro-Caribbean influences in the formation of the Cuban nation-, which was active in Cuba in the 1970's and 80's. Morera currently lives and practices her art in New York City. Her works have been exhibited at such institutions as the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, the Cuban Cultural House in Prague, the Museum of the Americas, the Discovery Museum, The Rye Art Center, and the 8th Floor gallery in New York City.  Her work is part of many private and public collections including the famous Cuban art collectors, Donald Rubin and Howard Farber.


I like to thank Clara Morera for this opportunity and trust. This project it would not be possible without the help and contribution of Bernardo Navarro a long time friend and collaborator.