LATINAMERICA OR THE SUB-VERSION OF MODERNITY AND POST-
INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT:
When we speak about LATIN AMERICA OR THE SUB-VERSION OF MODERNITY AND POST, we want to establish the idea that speaks not only about subverting the gaze of the West and its hegemonic discourses, but also about subverting that which can be referred to as an imposed idea of Art. The term Sub–version has two faces that contrast each other. The first one is “subversion” as a transgressive act towards the other that aims to dislocate the definitions and generalizations that intend to represent us; “Version” refers to other forms of establishing factual relations from the point of view of one’s own mentality, a framed filter with which the “I-other” defines us, structuring itself as a free play of language.
The other meaning of subversion is that in which the prefix “sub” can be understood as “low”, “lower than”, “under”: as inferiority, secondary action. That means it can be understood as a secondary discourse stemming out of an imposition, or a copy.
Finally, for Latin America the term subversion has a political meaning related to social processes.
“outsiders, dwellers of history’s suburbia, we Latin American people are the uninvited guests that have sneaked in through the back door of the West, the intruders that have entered the show of modernity when the lights are about to go off – we have arrived late at every place, we were born when it was already late in history, we do not have a past, and, if we have one, we have spitted on its ruins… and we haven’t even been able to preserve what the Spaniards left when they left, we have stabbed each other…
This fragment is taken from the texts of Octavio Paz and it can provide an introduction to the study of work produced by Latin American artists, in relation to the schemes that we have inherited from modernity.
Latin America or the sub-version of reality is a project that aims at establishing the state of contemporary art in Latin America. We
decided to choose the topic of sub-version, which is abstract enough to encompass art produced by Latin American artists. At the same time we want to maintain a critical approach not only to the aesthetical schemes, but also to the utopias or ideologies that we have inherited from modernity.
The proposed structure is as follows:
LATIN AMERICA OR THE SUB-VERSION OF REALITY
The proposal was designed to have two main stages, although it will be in permanent development.
The first stage (in process) will establish our theoretical framework. In the second stage a series of works and essays will be developed that will constitute a particular reflection of this framework, that is, within the context of a specific country.
A. Theoretical Objective: To study and research the image and Latin American art as transdisciplinary elements. The project contains three areas: the first one is the Essays area, which will provide the theoretical context. The second one is the Interviews area, which hosts a series of interviews featuring different characters of the arts community. The third one is the area of audiovisual projects that criticize modernity.
1. Essays: These essays will constitute the theoretical framework. We have asked some artists, curators and theoreticians to write an essay specifically for this project. The resulting body of texts will provide a context to different disciplines and countries. Some of the authors in this section include e-fagia members.
2. Interviews: There are four basic questions that have been asked to different characters of the arts community: is there a Latin American aesthetic paradigm? What is the role of the artist in contemporary society? What comes to your mind when we speak about art and subversion? Heliumen Triana, who is part of the editorial committee, will be in charge of this area. All members of the collective have been invited to participate and it will be continuously updated.
B. Methodological Objective:
We will try to access Latin American context based on workgroups that are structured under the three research topics. Within the organization, communication and work will be conducted using digital media, bringing together workgroups located in Canada, Spain and Colombia. These workgroups will be receiving support from contributors in Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Brasil and USA.
The third area, audiovisual projects that criticize modernity, will show how artists have adapted to a new context and how they have created and developed new communication structures and new ways of relating as a reaction to old schemes inherited from modernity, which have been adopted generally to the detriment of the social structures in Latin American countries.
Audiovisual projects that criticize modernity: it is composed of work groups that study specific subjects in modernity and the way artists relate culturally to them. Topics are: "Traveling without a Map or Afro-American artists", coordinated by Mercedes Angola and the Virtual Museum group, and "Aesthetics and Utopia, the legacy of ideologies" by E-fagia group.
As proposed by Witgenstein, language is defined mostly by usage.
Paz, Octavio, El laberinto de la soledad (labyrinth of solitude) , Fondo de cultura económica, página 235-236, Bogotá, 1993.