Exhibition Art and Activism in Latin America (2016)

28.10.2016 - 25.11.2016

ART AND ACTIVISM IN LATIN AMERICA is a Despina project with the support and partnership of the Dutch organization Prince Claus Fund.

The project ART AND ACTIVISM IN LATIN AMERICA will bring together artists and activists from the north side of Brazil and other Latin American countries in an artist residence programme lasting two months, starting in September. The idea is to work in a variety of informal modes of education, such as workshops, public lectures, visits to schools and universities and an exhibition. Participation costs will be fully covered by the Prince Claus Fund as part of its Network Partnership Programme, from which Despina is part of.

The project extends over three years and in this first year (2016) will bring together a group of artists and activists whose practices deal with issues revolving around diverse notions of real or virtual public space: as a political arena where social and public debate, protests and demands emerge and gain shape; as the environment where different cultures and social classes co-exist and collide; as a free zone for leisure and creative expression; as the place where personal and collective beliefs can be expressed and heard by the masses; as a space where knowledge and information can be exchanged; as a domain where individual and civil rights are subjected to social control; and as a territory for cultural resistance and where communities should have access to the means and infrastructure for self-development and self-organization.

In order to promote an in depth debate on the theme, and to develop a series of public actions that will challenge the very understanding and uses of public space, we would like to work with artists and activists whose artistic practices are situated in the crossings between art and politics. We are also interested in practices that challenge the very role of political and cultural institutions through critical thought and action by subverting the idea of the artwork as necessarily a construct of material culture destined to last and to be exhibited in formal art spaces. Moreover, we are seeking artists and activists who are in the course of developing a professional trajectory of social engagement, defending democratic, transgressive and multicultural values through art and collective modes of action.

The artists selected to participate in the residence in 2016 are: Crack Rodriguez (El Salvador), Jesus Bubu Negron (Puerto Rico) and Luciana Magno (Brazil). Besides them, important names of contemporary artistic thinking were invited to participate in the project, among them Tania Bruguera, Suely RolnikRoberto Jacobyand Pablo León de la Barra.


Crack Rodriguez (1980) lives and works in San Salvador, El Salvador. His practice and his actions are intrinsically related to the social context and popular culture, from where he builds strong bonds with the public, who react and /or engage and often become part of his piece, not as a passive spectator but as a catalyst that activates the social context.

Rodriguez is a member of the Fire Theory, San Salvador El Salvador. He has participated in several exhibitions and projects by the Curating Agency, Agency for Spiritual Guest Work, curated by Anne Brand Galvez; “From the Tangible to the Intangible”, 4th Edition Nomadic Center of Contemporary Art “Tropical Interzone” & “The Virtual Residency program” Zurich; “Relocating SAL”, curated by Claire Breukel and Lucas Arevalo Ernst, Hilger Gallery, Vienna; “Peripheral Spectacular”, curated by Eder Castillo, Mexico City & Poporopo Project, Guatemala City &; “Documenting Memory”, Art Center / South Florida (USA); “ Performance Festival – acciones en el espacio publico, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; “Landings 5”, Art Museum of the Americas, in Washington DC; “Landings 6 and 7”, Haydee Santamaria Gallery, Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; “Landings 8”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan. Solo shows include: “Circunstancias de los restos”, Lokkus Arte Contemporáneo, Medellin, Colombia; “Neutropolitan Attack”, Eclectic Arts Festival, FEA, El Salvador.

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Jesus Bubu Negrón (1975) lives and works in San Juan, Porto Rico. His work is characterized by minimal interventions, the recontextualization of everyday objects and a relational approximation to artistic production as a revealing act of historical, social and economic proportions. Negrón lives in the neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra, in San Juan, where he is part of the Brigada PDT, a grassroots community organisation for the preservation and wellbeing of the neighborhood, its history and its people.

Upon completion of his first artist residency with M&M Proyectos in 2002 in Puerto Rico, Negron’s work has been displayed in renowned galleries and institutions around the world, both individually and collectively. Some of his most notable collaborations include: Abubuya Km0 project organised by Kiosko Galeria, Bolivia; The Obscenity of the Jungle with Proyectos Ultravioleta for SWAB Barcelona in Spain (2013); the 1st Bienal Tropical in Puerto Rico (2011), where he was awarded the “Golden Pineapple” prize for best artist; Interpretation of the Soneto de las estrellas with Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico (2013), curated by Taiyana Pimentel; Trienal Poligráfica in Puerto Rico (2009), curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta González and Jens Hoffmann; Sharjah Biennial in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2007), curated by Mohammed Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins; Whitney Biennial in New York (2006), curated by Chrissie Iles and Phillipe Vergne; the T1 Torino Trienale in Italy (2005), curated by Francesco Bonami and Carolyn Christov–Bakargiev, and Tropical Abstraction at the Steidelijk Bureau Museum in Amsterdam (2005), curated by Ross Gortzak.

His work has been reviewed in major publications such as Flash Art, New York Times, Journal des Arts, LA Times, The Art Newspaper, Art Nexus and Frieze, among others.

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Luciana Magno (1987) lives and works between Belem and Fortaleza, Brazil. She is graduated in Visual Arts and Technology of the Image from the University of Amazonia, Belém. She also holds a Master Degree from the Federal University of Pará, in the same city. Her works deal with performance, often directed to photography and video, object and website. Magno’s research focuses on the body and performative actions. She has been interested in political, social and anthropological issues, related to the impact of the development of the Amazon region, in the north of Brazil. The integration of the body to the landscape and the environment is a key and recurrent element in her works, which have been exhibited in various spaces, such as Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, Fortaleza (2014); Museu de Arte do Estado do Pará – Art in Pará – Belém (2014) and Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro – MAR (2013). She was the winner of the 10th edition of Rede Nacional Funarte Artes Visuais Programme with the project “Telefone Sem Fio”, which crossed the country from north to south through highways and waterways. This project  led to a video and an audio file about Brazilian cultural diversity, its history and geography.

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Concept and direction: Consuelo Bassanesi
Curatorial support: Bernardo José de Souza
Project Assistant and follow-up: Pablo Ferretti
Production and communication (photos, website and social media): Frederico Pellachin
Press: Rafael Millon
Financial and Legal Management: Clarice Goulart Correa
Selection Committee: Consuelo Bassanesi, Bernardo José de Souza and Pablo León de la Barra
Special thanks to: Leila Lak, Bertan Selim, Pablo León de la Barra, Bernardo Mosqueira and Helena Celestino


Pictures Gallery (horizontal scrolling)
by Frederico Pellachin