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Organización Nelson Garrido

In June I visited the Organización Nelson Garrido, ONG, cultural space, that formerly functioned as the photographic studio of the well respected Venezuelan photographer Nelson Garrido. Today the studio has evolved to be a leading independent contemporary art and music space in Caracas.

Here is Music recorded by Jimmy Flamante in the studio at ONG, enjoy while you read!

The ONG works as a space to share ideas, have meetings, old art exhibits, record music, invite national and international resident artists and have a common living space. Most of this goes on with out charge to the public. The ONG also offers photography and screen printing classes, where they charge to cover running costs of the space.

There is a rolling trainee program where students and recent graduates work as part of the administrative staff improving their skill set and keeping running costs down. The ONG is unique to Caracas as it exists totally independently from the government and outside sponsors. This leaves all artists who are involved to be free to express them selfs as they wish with no political or financial influences.

This Video visualises the ideas, work and people behind the name. Become involved with the programme of events on their Facebook group and Facebook Page.

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It was a pleasure to meet Gala Garrido, daughter of Nelson, who now runs the ONG. Thanks for your time and all the best moving forward with this important space for artists in Caracas.

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South and Central American Featured Artists

I’m preparing to fly to Colorado tomorrow. It’s exciting and strange all together. The last 16 months have been spent entirely in Latin America developing 34South|61North. As I continue north I felt it was time to reflect on the artists I have met and who have become part of this journey.  I’m going to be featuring images and information on the Facebook Page in this special album. Enjoy the retrospective and if you would like to nominate an artist get in touch!

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Cinestesia Caracas

(español abajo)

Whilst many galleries, museums and theatres in Venezuela are linked to the government and show case political material there are some independent arts events and spaces that continue to show unique unchallenged artistic ideas.

One such event is Cinestesia an independent film showing hosted by the Rio Theatre.  The founder and co-ordinator of Cinestesia, Alberto Negron, realised a need to show films that weren’t main stream in the intimate setting of the Rio Theatre.

The selected pictures are local and international with no predetermined genre. Negron instead aims to provide a wide range of cinematic experiences. Cinestesia began in 2011 and since has seen a growing following of Caracenos and foreigners alike.  As popularity has grown Cinestesia has been invited to show in other spaces around Caracas and during festivals,  such as the Cultural Centre in Chacao, and area of Caracas.

It was a pleasure to meet Alberto and to see Cinestesia in action at the Rio.  All the best to independant arts in Caracas.

CIN

Cinestesia nació el 15 de septiembre del año 2011 y lleva ya dos años
y medio proyectando sin falta películas todos los jueves en las instalaciones
de Río Teatro. Además, Cinestesia eventualmente, ha hecho proyecciones en
otros espacios, como el evento ocurrido en junio de 2013 en el Centro Cultural
Chacao, donde se proyectaron películas por 3 días seguidos con un lleno total
de la sala.

Se trata de un evento que une la cultura del cine con la del bar,
la música y la tertulia, haciéndolas complementarias en vez de contrarias.
Consiste en proyecciones regulares de películas cuidadosamente seleccionadas
para un público que sabe disfrutar de las más diversas expresiones
cinematográficas, sin prejuicio alguno.

Cinestesia actualmente cuenta con una videoteca de
aproximadamente 400 películas en HD de las más diversas nacionalidades,
géneros y estilos, y el número de películas que conforman esta colección
también sigue creciendo día a día.

La curaduría cinematográfica y la producción del evento en general
corren a cargo de Alberto Negrón, cineasta dedicado a la producción de
documentales y videos musicales, quien también ejerció la docencia en la
UCAB y la Escuela Nacional de Cine durante un tiempo.

Video sobre Cinestesia

 

 

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Driving in Caracas

I spent May and part of June in Venezuela. The original idea was to go in February and cross over land from Colombia at the San Cristobal border. As protests and violence escalated this was no longer a viable option.

Instead I waited in Colombia and traveled to Venezuela six weeks later crossing at the northern border of Paraguaichón. The bus continued through the country, for twelve hours, terminating in Caracas.

Below is a series of photos that illustrate a drive I took through the city. Life in Venezuela continues despite the many problems that its people face.

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CaracasCalle CaracasSiBo

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ACTIONArar

March 2014 34South|61North had been ongoing for just over a year and I had reached the north of South America. With this I went to be resident artist at ACCIONArar residency in Anolaima, Colombia.

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Tzitzi and David recently started the residency space, they are a couple of Colombian artists who focus on performance. Tzitzi has organised the Encuentro de Acción en Vivo y Diferido AVD,  Bogota and has traveled in South America participating in various events. She and David founded the residency space in country house outside the small town Anolaima. The residency encourages artistic development in all areas with emphasis on performance. There is also great importance put on sharing the living space, cooking together, sharing ideas and chores.

I met the couple at GUACHO-INTRATERRESTRE earlier this year in Ecuador and I learnt about what they do in Anolaima.  After a very intense period in Medellin I contacted them asking if I could come and use the residency as a time to reflect and to decide what direction I would like to take 34South|61North. We agreed and I prepared myself to go to Anolaima.

I spent the residency thinking. In February 2013 I began an ongoing work to cover two continents and learn about the arts and how they fit into societies that I visited, whilst developing three ongoing works: Take Space and Make Them New, The Map Exchange and GMT-. I have been making these works and simultaneously researching arts spaces and cultural organisations and artists, giving work shops and talks.

This system has been rewarding and full of meetings and new ideas. It has worked well over south america.  Now, entering phase two of 34South|61North, Central and North America the project calls for a different approach. I will be spending more time looking at other artists ways of making and how organisations work in the places I visit. My personal/physical practice will take a back seat. Just like in South America I will be researching and making art simultaneously but now with the focus on research.

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Thanks to Tzitzi and David for providing this experience and a space that allowed for time to reflect and prioritise a new direction.

 

 

tulua charla

Artist talk and networking in Tuluá 9 de Abril

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On Wednesday I was invited to give a talk in Tuluá, a town about two hours form Cali in the Cauca Valley, Colombia. The idea was to share my work and the concepts behind 34South|61North with local artists, musicians and actors. This was to open up a debate on how to improve networking between artists in Tuluá with the eventual goal of opening an arts centre in the town. Once the space is opened the artists will encourage local youths to pursue creative pastimes instead of entering into crime and repeating the town’s violent history.

The residents were happy to have me there as they want to organise exchanges with international artists who can bring different perspectives to the arts in the town and forge cultural interchanges. Over the next months I will be assisting with ideas, information and contacts.

Goog Luck artists of Tuluá.

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Projeto Perfil

Many thanks to my friends at Bem Te Vi Produções for including me in the latest video for their current Profile Project; explained below.

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Have a look at the Video here and contact them if you know someone who could take part!

Portugese/Español/English
O projeto perfil é SOBRE PESSOAS E PARA PESSOAS.
Numa época em que a pessoa jurídica fala mais alto que a pessoa física, em que máquinas fazem mais que mãos, o projeto perfil busca a humanização da vida, que sejamos cúmplices da mesma raça. São procuradas pessoas com histórias e/ou habilidades especiais e únicas.
São eles: artistas, cozinheiros, jardineiros, donas de casa, contadores de histórias, marceneiros, empreendedores, músicos, costureiros, pedreiros e pessoas de verdade, que transmitirão a beleza de ser comum, diferente ou não.
Contra a celebrização e a cultura do espetáculo, o projeto trará pequenos perfis de personagens interessantes e
fundamentais, que com suas peculiaridades irão nos inspirar, instruir e abrir os horizontes para tanta cultura, criatividade e amor que há por aí.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
El proyecto perfil es ACERCA DE PERSONAS Y PARA PERSONAS.
En un momento en que la persona jurídica habla más fuerte que el individuo, en el que las máquinas hacen más que las manos, el proyecto busca la humanización de la vida, que seamos cómplices de la misma raza.
Se buscan personas con historias y/o habilidades especiales y únicas, como: artistas, cocineros, cuentacuentos, jardineros, sastres, carpinteros, actores, amas de casa, albañiles y personas reales que transmitan la belleza de ser común, diferente o no.
Contra la celebración y la adoración del espectáculo, el proyecto proporcionará pequeños perfiles de personajes interesantes, con sus peculiaridades que inspiran, instruyen y abren los horizontes para mucha cultura, creatividad y amor.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
The project profile is ABOUT PEOPLE TO THE PEOPLE.
In a period where companies have more say than regular people, where machines make more than hands, Perfil Project looks for the humanisation of life. It explores if that humans could be concomitant of the same race.
We’re searching for people with stories and/or unique skills e.g. artists, chefs, storyteller, gardeners, tailors,
carpenters, housewives, builders, musicians, entrepreneurs and people who can transmit the beauty of being a regular person, different or no.
Going against the celebration and worship of spectacle culture, the project will create mini profiles of interesting individuals that can instruct, inspire and open up new horizons with their particular skills, for all the culture, creativity and love that’s around.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Le projet “Profil” regroupe DES PERSONNES QUI S’ADRESSENT À DER PERSONNES.
A un moment où les grandes entreprises parlent plus fort que les gens du peuple, où les machines produisent plus que les mains, le Projet Profile (Projeto Perfil) recherche l’humanisation de la vie et comment nous sommes tous des complices de la même race. Nous recherchons des personnes avec des histoires et/ou des qualités spéciales et uniques. Elles peuvent être artistes, cuisiniers, jardiniers, femmes au foyer, conteurs, charpentiers, entrepreneurs, musiciens, couturiers, maçons. Des personnes réelles, qui transmettent la beauté d’être normal, avec ses différences, ou non.
Face au culte de la célébrité et à la culture du spectacle, le projet entend dessiner de courts profils de personnages intéressants et essentiels qui, de par leurs particularités, pourront inspirer, instruire et ouvrir des horizons vers toute cette culture, cette créativité et cet amour qui nous entourent.

Accion2

Accionarar Anolaima

Actionarar Residency

Accionarar Residency

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I was presented with an opportunity to be away form the city and to be quiet and to reflect.

34South|61North has take place almost exclusively in urban environments and being resident at Accionarar gave me the opportunity to asses the events from the past year.  The works that I have developed, the countries that I have traveled through and the people that I have met-and then how these experiences have affected my consciousness, way of seeing the world and way of behaving.

Now back in Bogota and more to come on this unique experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmup6

Bloom 3, Medellín

Bloom 3 is a mini-series of installations that exist with in the ongoing work Take Spaces and Make Them New the Bloom pieces are made using second hand plastic materials found in locations of interest during 34South|61North.

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News paper, live installation at The Shag, Studio 180, London, January 2013, various dimensions. Installed over 5 hours.

Take Spaces and Make Them New has come a long way form the origional work Sakura Bloom at The Shag,
Studio 180,  January 2013.

After leaving London in February 2013 I continued to develop TSMN and worked temporarily altering spaces with found paper throughout South America.
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TSMN, Casa Selevatica, Curitiba, Brazil, June 2013
Paper, various dimensions.

I then began the process of making plastic forms to install into public spaces to change and draw attention to the city environment and how it exists in close proximity to the natural environment.

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Bloom experiment, July 2013
Plastic and wire

The first Bloom piece was installed in the Kiosk in the plaza by the mARTadero in Cochabamba. Bloom-Take Spaces and Make Them New was installed by invitation to become part of the In Red Arte con Nada, 2013 festival. I was happy and honoured to be invited to take part in the festival and realised that this work changed the direction of the installation pieces I was making.

12TakeSpacesandMakeThemNew-Bloom
Plastic bags and wire
various dimensions, August 2013, Cochabamba

Bloom 2 was made up of several site specific works in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. They were made of palstic and chicken wire weavings. The last work was installed outside Kiosko in Santa Cruz.

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Plastic Bag and Chicken Wire Weaving
100x72x65cm aprox
September 2013

Saturday February 22nd 2014 was the re-connection of the performative and installation elements of TSMN. Over a year after the first piece was completed in London I worked for eight hours in Casa Tres Patios to install and draw live, transforming the gallery and the outside street.

The flowers were made out of recycled plastic sheeting. This sheeting is commonly used in Medellín as roofs or coverings for stalls that fill up the pavements. Sometimes people also us it for shelter. Over several weeks I made more and more flowers and attached them to the walls of C3P and to a tree outside the house.
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Then finally I left a mound of flowers in the gallery space’s floor of C3P.

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Flores3

The performance was over eight hours and was live drawing from memories of Medellín and audience participation. The drawing covered the walls and the floor documenting a transition of countries and cultures and how I personally responded to it.
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As the hours wore on the drawings merged and the floor became more dirty.

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Bloom 3 is the beginning of a new phase for TSMN. This work came at the end of my residency at C3P and will be the last piece of production before I go to Accionarar residency near to Bogota to evaluate the first phase of 34South|61North.

Thanks to all the amazing people and spirit of Medellín.

Mapping culture and art from Chile to Alaska.

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