latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011
latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011
jun 26, 2011

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011

latin american pavilion-IILA at venice art biennale 2011 image by rodolfo fiorenza, courtesy of IILA

organized by the IILA (italo-latin american institute), the latin american pavilion-IILA at the venice art biennale 2011 hosts an exhibition called, ‘entre siempre y jamàs (between forever and never).’ an allusion to a poem by mario benedetti, this title expresses the distance between history and the contemporary: the exhibition is accordingly dedicated to the area’s bicentenary of independence, examining its cultural traditions through works by 24 artists. with approaches from varying temporal and spatial perspectives, the participants explore the breadth latin america offers, from its tranquil towns in the hinterlands to the modern metropolises.

‘on the one hand, the exhibition is a map in that it follows a geographic dramaturgy and has all the countries of the continent file past us; but on the other hand, it is also a timeline that scans history year by year,’ says curator alfons hug. ‘what emerges is thus a chronotopos, the fusion of space and time.’

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 latin american pavilion with ‘you had no ninth of may’ by julieta aranda in the foreground image by rodolfo fiorenza, courtesy of IILA

‘you had no ninth of may’ is an installation by mexican artist julieta aranda that uses bricks to recreate the international date line: defining the difference between today and tomorrow, this boundary is widely accepted as an official demarcation, yet its location is unfixed by any international law. the work subsequently demonstrates the fluidity of time, manifesting the idea of how subjective concepts like time are often politicized.

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 ‘false lion’ by artist regina josé galindo image by rodolfo fiorenza, courtesy of IILA

using her body frequently in her works, guatemalan performance artist regina josé galindo documented a surgical reconstruction of her hymen, for her video ‘himenoplastia.’ the work received a particularly hostile reception in her native country, though it won the golden lion award at the venice biennale in 2005 in the category ‘artists under 30.’ a sculpture cast in bronze and guatemalan gold, ‘false lion’ speaks to this event in the recent past by awarding the fake honor of ‘best artist under 35.’

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 view of the latin american pavilion, with work by: (from left to right) reynier leyva novo, rolando castellón, and walterio iraheta image by rodolfo fiorenza,via universes in universe

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 ‘los olores de la guerra’ (the scent of war) by reynier leyva novo image © reynier leyva novo, via universes in universe

cuban conceptual artist reynier leyva novo uses the sense of smell to catalyze memory, creating perfumes based on historical events for ‘the scent of war.’ working with alchemist yanelda mendoza and historian josé abreu cardet, novo revisited three battle sites during the war for cuba’s independence, collecting elements such as herbs, mud, palm leaves, and river water. their essences were then extracted and combined to create each of these evocative fragrances.

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 ‘joyas de pobre’ (jewelry of the poor) by rolando castellón at the latin american pavilion image by rodolfo fiorenza, courtesy of IILA

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 a photograph from ‘faraway brother style’ series by walterio iraheta image © walterio iraheta, via universes in universe

walterio iraheto, a photographer from el salvador, displays poetic, frontier-seeking imagery in his ‘faraway brother style’ series.

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 still from ‘terre magellaniche,’ with a witch doctor at left and de agostini at right 
image © museo salesiano maggiorino borgatello, via universes in universe

with its focus on the area, the works of the exhibition are not limited to latin american born artists, so long as the content of the work reflects the area’s history. a 1933 film by italian missionary alberto maria de agostini, ‘terre magellaniche’ is one such work, documenting the interactions between indigenous and white populations in patagonia during the mid-20th century.

latin american pavilion IILA: venice art biennale 2011 installation of ‘terre magellaniche’ image by rodolfo fiorenza, courtesy of IILA

located in the islotto, a former warehouse next to the arsenale, this exhibition was commissioned by patricia rivadeneira and curated by alfons hug. 
 the 54th international art exhibition in venice, italy, runs until november 27, 2011.

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