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Curatorial Practices
Salon Cantv: Young Venezuelan Artists and Portable Identities
by Karina Sainz Borgo

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#1: Juan Carlos Rodríguez

#2: Juan José Olavarría

#3: David Palacios

#4: Nascimento/Lovera

#4: Nascimento/Lovera

#5: Mauricio Lupini

The Salón Cantv Review for Young People with FIA, a showcase exhibiting the works of emerging artists, now in its sixth edition, investigates a diversity of subjects, identities and discussions relating to contemporary artists in Venezuela. The works of 22 artists from Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela were brought together at the Ateneo Gallery in Caracas in an exhibition entitled "Enlaces" (Connections), showcasing several methodological strategies in contemporary art. The curator, Félix Suazo, imagined a collective exhibition that, instead of considering the work of art as "substance" or the final result of technical procedures, showed the processes through which its significance is emphasized.

The showcase's criteria was based on a strategic selection of artists who were free to present projects based on their choice of subject matter. Understanding the heterogeneous nature of art making that includes the re-working of traditional media, the Salón brought together individual discussions that acted as "connecting devices". According to Suazo, the purpose was to link symbolic representational techniques which reflected the constructive process of the work of art within a broader universe of values and means of perception. Framed within the act of subverting and remaking previous codes and references, and according to the curatorial judgment of Suazo, the exhibition put forward some different themes: a criticism of identity and institutional representations, together with a reflection on memory as a symbolic representation of history.

As an exhibition bringing together the proposals of contemporary Venezuelan artists, the VI Salón Cantv raises questions on diversity as a feature of fine art discussion. The artist, immersed in the signs of globalization as a place where new cultural landscapes are prepared, makes a plural space of his/her aesthetic territory, a process in geographical and personal transit, where subjective representations are prepared of symbolic contexts.

Symbolic Subversion:
The proposals submitted for review within the VI Cantv Salon question and explore urban lifestyles, and question the treatment accorded these works in the museographic environment. The artists forming this nucleus included Juan Carlos Rodrí­guez with Fia Caracas, Three glances on prophylaxis in the field of treatment (2003) (1),a video-installation which, by a symbolic parallel to the museum lecture prepares, according to the curator, a kind of "autocuratorship" of the work sustained by the artist in the densely populated districts of Caracas. Following the same train of thought is Juan José Olavarrí­a with Invitación (2003) (2) and David Palacios with the work Distension Zone (record-mural) Edición Fia 2003 (3). The three artists mentioned have served, among other things, as members of The Provisional Group, a collective effort which has organized creative experiences/interventions in nearby communities since 1997.

With regard to a critical examination of media culture, the work CLEAR and PRESENT DANGER (2002) (4), represents a video-installation by Juan Nascimento and Daniela Lovera, who edited parts of a video copy (available in stores or by way of the black market) of the film CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER and altered the sub-titles, subverting its pro-government dialogue. Mauricio Lupini, a Venezuelan artist living in Italy, participated as a special guest (as did José Luis López Reus, Alfredo Ramí­rez and Pablo Rivera) with two photographs of the Habitat series (1998-1999) (5). These, continuing with the reflection on the artificial reconstruction of reality, show indeterminate landscapes which, according to the curator, are a parody on the dislocation of abstract art and museographic language.

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