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Bogotá, A City On The Edge

23.11 / 2013 – 19.01 / 2014
Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art,  Gdansk, Poland

This exhibition brings together four contemporary artists from Colombia whose works take viewers on a tour of reflections on the current social conditions of their country’s capital, Bogotá. The show is part of the project Cities On The Edge, which explores the “extreme” circumstances of the city of Gdansk. The project takes as its starting point the meaning of the word edgy, used as a descriptor of the city’s contemporary culture in connection with other cities around the world.

Bogotá, A City On The Edge presents a variety of projects and works selected on the basis of a reflection on the everyday experience of the urban environment and focusing on the growing importance of Bogotá as an arts center. It seeks not only to mark the city’s position in today’s world, but to show the a-temporality of Bogotá in terms of its approach to the arts. In this way, viewers have an opportunity to reflect on the implications of being and living as an artist in such a city.

Considering Bogotá in the context of Latin America’s cities, one needs to analyze the entirety of the thematic variants that make it a city of extremes. First, the political concept hat has governed the city for several decades, based on a reinterpretation of US-promoted neo-liberal policies, the identity of its citizens as pop-culture hybrids, and the fictional plans for urban modernization. Such factors have contributed to the gradual loss of key social objectives, impeding the expansion of alternative developments and resulting, for example, in the absence of an adequate public transportation system and an optimal urban infrastructure, due not as much to the lack of resources as to a corrupt administration’s inability to confront the problem.

Regardless of the narratives suggested by artists motivated to create new works, events occurred in Bogotá that resemble fictional stories are now social realities. In some cases, artists have transformed those social narratives on the basis of their original referents, and in others they have molded them using their specific media, as specific social critiques. In this way, the exhibition reflects on the problems of the city and distances itself from typical representations of underdeveloped urban environments.

The artists featured in the show are Jaime Ávila, Alberto Lezaca de Paz, Andrés Londoño, and Adriana Salazar, under the curatorship of John Ángel Rodríguez and Agnieszka Kulazinska. The exhibition will remain open from November 22, 2013 through January 19, 2014.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Poland’s National Heritage.

Practical informations
Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art
ul. Jaskółcza 1
80-767 Gdańsk
Tue-Wed, Fr-Sun 12.00-18.00, Thur 12.00-20.00

This post is also available in: Spanish