GastÃ³n Duprat and Mariano Cohn, “Llamadas”
Something has been gathering steam in Buenos Aires. An ambitious project to create one of the largest new media exhibition and experimentation centers in Latin America is being developed and implemented at the Centro Cultural San MartÃn. The building is conveniently located next to the traditional Teatro San MartÃn in downtown Buenos Aires, and has been known through the years for offering a wide range of cultural activities.
â€œCulture & Media: Under Constructionâ€ is the first edition of a multi-disciplinary exhibition that focuses on art and technology and makes the renovation and expansion of the San MartÃn Center (which is expected to be finalized in two years) part of the exhibit itself.
Colectivo: Multimedia por simpatÃŒa, “Camas Calientes”
â€œThis event is organized to celebrate the construction of the new cultural centerâ€ says Lic. Graciela Taquini, curator of the show, â€œthe â€˜Under Constructionâ€™ theme is also related to the digital medium because digital works are in a sense always ‘in progress’ due to elements [specific to the language of the medium.]â€
There are lots of things to see at â€œCulture & Mediaâ€, the exhibition featuring a broad sample of artwork being produced by both renowned and emerging artists using new technologies, provides screenings of documentaries and experimental shorts, and includes a collection of web-related art curated by Argentine artist Gustavo Romano. There are also various activities to attend and participate in.
Luis TerÂ·n, “Cartelera”
So what gives â€œCulture & Mediaâ€ its distinct Latin American, or to be more specific, Argentine flavor? What makes the artwork being displayed different from that shown recently in ZeroOne San JosÃ© (California), for example? Interestingly enough, subjects such as work and working conditions were present in some installations, such as â€œCamas Calientesâ€, by the group â€œColectivo: Multimedia por simpatÃaâ€.
Work as a subject has been brought once again to the limelight due to the harsh economic crisis the country has had to endure and it’s being addressed by focusing on the situations created by this crisis. The term â€œcamas calientesâ€ (warm beds) refers to the dire conditions in which people work non-stop and take turns at sleeping in beds inside the factories, always replacing each other, and thus keeping beds always warm. Graciela Taquini points to levels of aggression present in certain pieces (which one could perhaps attribute to a post 2001 crisis period), as well as a healthy dose of humor, and above all a sense of irony that she says is characteristic of Argentines.
Augusto Zanela, “Bola S/T”
Other highlights from the show include Augusto Zanela’s â€œBola S/Tâ€, a hypnotic projection created in real-time through clever use of close-circuit video and Mariano Cohn’s and Gaston Duprat’s â€œLlamadasâ€ which lets the audience listen to various private conversations, among many others works.
â€œCulture & Mediaâ€ has received strong backing and participation from a great number of academic institutions as well as official support from the government of the city of Buenos Aires. The exhibition is bound to expand through the years (18,000 m2 are being added to the building, which will sport new screening rooms and theater stage) and become one of the main venues for dialogue between Argentine and other Latin American artists, as well as artists from many other countries. Itâ€™s definitely a place to keep an eye on.
“Usos de una teorÃŒa de mano”, one of the talks offered at the event