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of the

Activations, suspensions and projections
of the contemporary in art

9 Nov 2012

Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas


The Betrayal of the Contemporary

Activations, suspensions and projections of the contemporary in art

This edition of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros combines the model of a symposium with the Pecha Kucha format, a creative presentation in which a work is outlined in a simple and informal manner. The seminar gathers artists, writers, art curators and critics, as well as producers in other disciplines and the general public, to consider the many genealogies and languages in the visual arts simultaneously operating in the field of culture.

In addition, the seminar includes an on- and offline exchange program that comprises tours through the university and a number of virtual interventions. Furthermore, in order to contribute locally to Venezuelaâs cultural development, the seminar has established partnerships with the schools of photography Organización Nelson Garrido and Escuela de Fotografia Roberto Mata, as well as the Capriles film school, whose students will document the seminarâs activities. The results of these collaborations will be published both on this website and in media allies.

As the subtitle of The Betrayal of the Contemporary suggests, the seminar is designed as a space to reflect upon and discuss the various attempts to define the contemporary, particularly through the arts. In the process of this discussion, the challenges, both regional and global, are to recognize the tactics, benefits and even the abuse of the plurality of the contemporary definitions. The seminar will cover the philosophical trace between concepts and techniques, as well as technology and experimentation, the battles between the access and the limitations to the markets of ideas and art, and the uses of or references to histories of art and visual culture.

Program | 9 Nov 2012

8:00 â 8:50 a.m.

We begin


To access the Seminario Fundación Cisneros, please go to the registration desk to register, or, if you have already registered, to pick up your pass. Members of the press can register at this desk as well. The registration desk will be open throughout the day offering general information. You can also borrow free translation equipment with a photo ID, and sign up for tours of the UCV.

9:00 - 9:05 a.m.

Good Morning

Guillermo Barrios
Opening Words
The Dean of the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of the UCV, welcomes us to the Carlos Raúl Villanueva auditorium.
9:05 â 9:10 a.m.

The Seminario Fundación Cisneros

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
Opening Remarks

Launched in 2011, the Seminario Fundación Cisneros is designed as a multidisciplinary space for the study and dissemination of art. The symposium invites art specialists to give presentations that contribute to the enrichment of references in art history.

9:10 â 9:25 a.m.

The betrayal of the new in todayâs art

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy

This second edition of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros will reflect upon todayâs artistic production, and about that which is usually called the contemporary. Several questions motivate the organization of this seminar: what differences have been made between modern and contemporary? Why insist on the need for a diversity of plastic, curatorial, and cultural approaches to contemporaneity? Do language and translation betray artistic work?

9:30 â 10:30 a.m.

Art Won and We don’t Know It: The growth of cultural production and its relationship to the arts


Art has won and no one knows it. After the last hundred years, the skills of representation and the production of affect have left the specific universe of the arts and have made their way into the logic of everyday corporate and managerial culture. Communications, advertising, and marketing have radically taken hold of the gears of culture and have in many cases transformed the landscape in which people experience images and emotions. In his presentation, Nato Thompson navigates what this new landscape of vast cultural production means for the artist who wants to matter in society.

10:30 â 11:15 a.m.

To kiss or bite the hand that feeds you


When we review the relationship between art and its environment, we find that very explicit representations and models of the world stop half way through and only hinder our understanding of it. It seems better in these cases to use the world as its own model, but this kind of abstraction might ignore the cognitive essence of intelligence that resides only in materialization. It is as if one could separate understanding from reality, into two parts: one that can be resolved through abstraction and one that canât.

11:15 a.m. â 12:00 p.m.

How do you make a classroom come to life as though it were a work of art?


Since the 1990s, critics and curators have broadly accepted the notion that participatory art is the ultimate political art: that by encouraging an audience to take part, an artist can promote new emancipatory social relations. Bishop calls for a less prescriptive approach to art and politics, and for more compelling, troubling and bolder forms of participatory art and criticism. Her lecture will focus, specifically, on long-term educational projects by contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tania Bruguera, PaweÅ Althamer and Paul Chan.

12:00 â 12:30 p.m.

Virtual response

Inti Guerrero (TEOR/ética), María del Carmen Carrión (ICI), Ileana Ramírez (Tráfico Visual)
International Network

Through an international network of collaborators that was created to share virtually the contents of this edition of the Seminar, we will connect with other audiences interested in discussing The Betrayal of the Contemporary. After the first session of the seminar, curators representing each of these institutions will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations. Introduction by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy.

12:30 â 2:00 p.m.


Lunch in the courtyard of the auditorium

On the occasion of the Seminario Fundación Cisneros, the courtyard in front of the auditorium will be set up for lunch. Stay to eat and hang out with the participants and audience of the seminar to collectively share your impressions of the works presented during the morning session, and discuss your own ideas about "The Betrayal of the Contemporary" in art and culture today.

2:00 â 2:45 p.m.


Architectural Tours of the UCV

The University City of Caracas, the venue for the Seminario Fundación Cisneros, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Find out why and what makes this campus so special by joining one of the tours through the university led by renowned architects and historians. To join, inquire at the registration table on the subjects and guides, as well as meeting points in the courtyard of the auditorium where they will depart from.

2:45 â 3:00 p.m.

Please, have a seat

Return to the auditorium for the audience of the seminar

The second part of the seminar begins, consisting of three dynamic Pecha Kucha sessions. They are short in duration, so be sure to arrive on time so you donât miss any of it.

3:00 â 5:00 p.m.

Landscapes and mirages

Pecha Kucha

A filmmaker, a curator and an artist have been asked to address the following questions, using their work, research and impressions of the cultural field to answer them critically: Is there a difference between a natural and a social landscape? How does landscape position but also refer, how does it accept and at the same time question the gaze in our time? If power and intimacy grant privileged access to information, what are the responsibilities of the gaze?

5:01 â 5:05 p.m.

Virtual response

Ericka Flores (Lugar a Dudas)
International Network

After the first session of the seminar, curators representing each of these institutions from the International Network will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations. Introduction by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy.

5:05 â 5:30 p.m.

Reality and abstraction

Pecha Kucha

Abstraction in art has generally been associated with the ideas and ideals of modernism, at least in art history. However, abstraction is still a language in current use and development, notwithstanding that the modernist project and its failures have been severely criticized. A curator, an artist and a writer speak of how they approach abstraction today.

5:28 â 5:32 p.m.

Virtual response

Eduardo Abaroa (SOMA)
International Network

After the second session of the seminar, curators representing each of these institutions from the International Network will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations.

5:59 â 6:03 p.m.

Virtual response

Manuela Moscoso (Capacete)
International Network

After the third session of the seminar, curators representing these institutions from the International Network will connect virtually from their headquarters to the auditorium by Google Hangout to share their impressions of the presentations.

6:05 â 6:15 p.m.

Thank you

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
Closing remarks

Brief remarks that could be an attempt to present some impressions or conclusions of what occurred during the day, or just to thank the speakers and audience.

6:15 â 7:00 p.m.


Reception For the audience of the seminar.

Upon completion of the seminar, stay to hang out and talk in the courtyard of the auditorium of the UCV.


Universidad Central de Venezuela
Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (FAU/ UCV)
Auditorio Carlos Raúl Villanueva

The Seminar The Betrayal of the Contemporary will be held in the Auditorium Carlos Raúl Villanueva, at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (FAU/ UCV). Since this is an emblematic site, tours guided by the Council of  Preservation and Development (COPRED) will be offered as part of The Betrayal of the Contemporary seminar.

The iconic Univeristy is part of the UNESCOâs World Heritage list as a masterpiece of urban design, architecture and modern art of the twentieth century. For its construction, the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva followed original principles and theories of the Bauhaus.

Villanueva also accomplished a full integration of the arts into his architectural design by summoning an entire generation of Venezuelan artists like Miguel Arroyo, Alejandro Otero, Jesus Soto, and Victor Valera, as well as major international artists such as Jean Arp, André Bloc, Alexander Calder, Wilfredo Lam, and Victor Vasarely. Today, these works are considered one of the greatest achievements in the field of arts integration in modern architecture.


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Nato Thompson (NY, USA)

Nato Thompson is Chief Curator at the New York public art organization Creative Time. He has curated numerous shows that engage the public on questions of historic and political portent, including most recently Trevor Paglenâs The Last Pictures, The Creative Time Summit (2009-2011), Living as Form (2011), Tania Bruguera's Immigrant Movement International, Jeremy Dellerâs It is What it is (2009), and Paul Chanâs acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007) among many others. His most recent book Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the Age of Cultural Production is soon to be released by Melville House Publishing.

Mariangela Méndez (Barranquilla, Colombia)

An associate professor in the Department of Art at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, and a graduate of the MA in Curating the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York Mariangela has worked as an advisor to the National and Regional Meetings Artists with the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, and the Plastic Arts Management Institute for Culture of Bogota. Among her most recent curatorial projects are Sin Remedio, Galería Al4uadrado (Bogotá, 2008), and Muestras de Laboratorio, Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporáneo de Santa Marta (2011).

Claire Bishop (NY, USA)

Claire Bishop is Associate Professor in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York.  Her publications include Installation Art: A Critical History (Tate/Routledge, 2005) and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012).  She is a regular contributor to Artforum.

Mari Montes (Caracas, Venezuela)

A writer specialized in baseball, Mari Montes is a sports journalist and has worked in radio for more than two decades. Introduced to baseball by her father since early childhood, Montes is fond to the Leones de Caracas and the Baltimore Orioles. Among her works are the childrenâs books Por la goma, 2004 un año por encima del promedio, 2005, el año de Guillén y Lucía, la pelota que soñaba con llegar al Salón de la Fama. She is also the author of the play Tania en pelota and co-author and producer of the documentary Galarraga, beisbol puro beisbol.

Sergio Monsalve (Caracas, Venezuela)

Tanned in the arts of protest graffiti from an early age, Sergio has been marked by a strong visual radiation exposure of classical cinema, and has successfully passed the shock therapy being submitted as a guinea pig to the Ludovico method of A Clockwork Orange. Since then he embarked on a personal vendetta against its creators Frankenstein style. His secret weapon is film criticism. With it he confronts the demons of his time in the midst of witch-hunts and Apocalypse Now. He writes endlessly, teaches, and makes film documentaries to survive the end of the species.

José Antonio “MUU” Blanco (Caracas, Venezuela)

Artist concerned with communicating his experiences abstractly in multiple media. He began his career in painting, drawing, photography and assembly, and later engaged in the production of videos and music. He has been active in the Venezuelan art circuit, within and outside the country, in addition to having a presence on television and radio since the 1990s. Currently, Muu is focused in creating mixed-media art installations. Among his recent projects are the exhibitions Entorno(Caracas) and Caja Blanca Atrapa Moscas(Barcelona, Spain). In 2012, he released the music album Pillos Caracas Boys with the British label ImagenesUK.

Mario García Torres (Monclova, México)

Mario Garcia Torres is an artist currently living in Mexico City.  His work has been shown, among others, at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, the Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Tate Modern, London. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions like the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial; the 2010 Taipei Biennial, Taipei; the IX Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius; the 8th Panama Biennal, Panama; the 2008 Yokahama Triennial, Yokahama; the 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Venice and Documenta 13, Kassel.

Suwon Lee
Suwon Lee (Caracas, Venezuela)

Born to Korean parents in Caracas in 1977, Suwon Lee was trained as a photographer in Paris and studied under the tutelage of Nelson Garrido in Venezuela and with Axel Hutte in Spain, with who she has made several photo-trips through Venezuela, Spain and Peru. Suwon Lee was the only Venezuelan artist selected by an international jury to include her work in the publication The Younger than Jesus Artist Directory published by Phaidon Press in 2009, a directory of the best young artists in the world. She is co-founder and co-director since 2005 of the contemporary art space Oficina #1. For more information:

Luis Molina-Pantin (Caracas, Venezuela)

Luis Molina-Pantin lives and works in Caracas. He has participated in major solo and group exhibitions, among which are Valores Humanos, Faria + Fabregas, (Caracas), Estudio Informal de la Arquitectura Hibrida Vol 1., Galería Valenzuela/Klenner, (Bogotá), Galería Marta Cervera (Madrid), and Federico Luger (Milán). His work is represented in public and private collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Sevilla), Galería de Arte Nacional (Caracas), and Fundación Banco Mercantil (Caracas).

Zuleiva Vivas (Caracas, Venezuela)

Started her career in the Galería de Arte Nacional, where she confirmed her passion for research and museology. She has curated solo and group shows by renowned Venezuelan and international artists and has been curator for Venezuelaâs representation on the 6th, 7th, and 11th Bienal de Arte de La Habana, Cuba, and in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). Author of La desaparición de los límites (Ediciones Fundación Claudio Perna) and La huella y el índice (Editorial Metrópolis, 2008), and has contributed to the Dictionary of Art (London: MacMillan Reference Ltd., 1997), among other publications.

Pablo León de la Barra (Mexico/UK)

Independent curator, researcher, editor, blogger, co-director of the Novo Museo Tropical and founder and director of the first Bienal Tropical in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2011). He has curated, To Be Political it Has to Look Nice, apexart and Art in General (New York, 2003); This Is Not America, Beta Loca (San Juan, 2009); Incidents of Mirror Travel in Yucatán and elsewhere, Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, 2011); and Novo Museo Tropical TEOR/ética (San José, 2012). He was recently awarded the first grant for curatorial research trips in Central America and the Caribbean by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Independent Curators International.

Maria Lind (Stockholm, Sweden)

Director of the Tensta Konsthall in Sweden, independent curator and writer interested in exploring the formats and methodologies connected with the contemporary art institution. She was director of the graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College from 2008â10, curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm (from 1997â2001) and in 1998 was co-curator of Manifesta 2, Europeâs nomadic biennial of contemporary art. Lind was the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement. A compendium of her essays to date, Selected Maria Lind Writing, was published by Sternberg Press in 2010.

International Network

Capacete (Río de Janeiro, Brazil)

CAPACETE has the purpose of exposing and producing unpublished conceptual and contextual works. It documents its activities and serves as a starting point for the selfmanaging of a group of national and international artists.

ICI (New York, USA)

Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, publications, and training opportunities for diverse audiences around the world. ICI connects emerging and established curators, artists, and institutions, to forge international networks and generate new forms of collaboration.
lugar a dudas
Lugar a Dudas (Cali, Colombia)

Lugar a Dudas is a non-profit independent space. Its purpose is to promote and diffuse artistic contemporary creation through an articulate process of investigation, production and open confrontation. Lugar a Dudas is a laboratory to foment knowledge of contemporary art, facilitate development of creative process, and provoke community to interact through artistic practices.
SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico)

SOMA is a result of a group of artistsâ initiative to bring together their efforts and develop a unique platform within the cultural realm. SOMA is a program for the professionalization of artists, a forum for conferences, discussions and weekly events, a system of residencies for national and international artists, and an international summer program for artists, curators and art historians.
TEOR /éTica (San José, Costa Rica)

TEOR /éTica is an independent project and a private, nonprofit art space focused on research and dissemination of contemporary artistic practices. Since its inception, TEOR /éTica has emerged as one of the most dynamic art spaces in Costa Rica, with regional and international projection, and a growing reputation as a center of thought generation, production of stock documents, and the production of regional and international samples.
foro trafico visual
Tráfico Visual

Tráfico Visual is an online platform where contemporary art and today's cultural dynamics circulate and connect to offer the audience a link in which they can find information -through live streaming and podcasts- on the different artistic and cultural activities in Caracas and all along Venezuela. The purpose is to serve as a mean for dialogue between Venezuelan artists that live in the country and abroad.
International Network

The International Network consists of representatives from five partner institutions around the continent. Local audience will congregate in their respective headquarters to follow the live stream of the conference and participate in the conference via Google Hangout.

Digital Correspondents

Roberto Mata
Roberto Mata (Caracas, Venezuela)

Roberto Mata is founder and director of Roberto Mata Taller de Fotografía since 1993. His career began in the 1980's as a photographer of Pandora, Feriado and Papel Literario, El Nacional newspaper publications. Along with teaching, he is a corporate and advertising photographer, a regu;ar cpntributor of diverse print media, and develops his personal work that has earned awards including the Grand Prix 31 ° Aragua National Art Hall (2006). You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram @ RMTF

Ileana Ramírez (Caracas, Venezuela)

A lawyer from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello 2002. Ileana studied a specialization in cultural administration in Washington University. In 2006 she worked as logistics coordinator in Sala Mendoza. She also participated as co-curator of the exhibition âTambién los hombres son museosâ in the first Experimental Curatorial Workshop in Periférico Caracas, 2011. She is currently media coordinator and head of cultural programming at Centro de Arte Los Galpones. In 2009 she created Tráfico Visual, a virtual platform for the communication of contemporary art. Twitter: @traficovisual

Alejandra Villasmil (Caracas, Venezuela)

Alejandra Villasmil is a visual artist, founder and editor of the contemporary art magazine (2010). Between 2002 and 2007, she was Culture correspondent in New York for the Spanish news agency, EFE. She is professor at the School of Art at the Universidad del Desarrollo, where she teaches the Art and Writing Workshop. Besides the website, Artishock develops parallel projects that have helped to activate the visual arts scene in Chile, such as Artishock Radio, art fairs, exhibitions, conferences and workshops. Twitter: @revistartishock

Geraldine Villasmil (Caracas, Venezuela)

She is the founder and editor of avant-garde magazine MONO, a publication interested in art and design trends that is distribute by the newspaper El Universal in Venezuela. She is also director of the communications and public relations agency PR Boca, and hosts a weekly radio program with the editor of the magazine Estampas, Mario Aranaga, in 107.9FM. She is a regular contributor of Elba Escobar and Maria Elena Lavaudâs radio show. Twitter: @revistamono

Digital Correspondents

Digital correspondents are relevant people within the cultural and artistic life in Venezuela, who are active in using social networks, have been invited to spark a conversation and participate in dialogue around the ideas presented in the seminar beyond the auditorium.

Travel Grants

Name *

Surname *

Email *


City *

What is the betrayal of the contemporary for you? *

To encourage local participation of all those interested in attending the seminar The Betrayal of the Contemporary, the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros will offer travel grants to students, artists and teachers of any age living in Venezuela. These travel grants are to help subsidize travel costs for round trips transportation to and from Caracas. The grant monies will be handed the day of the seminar at the registration desk, showing a photo ID. The number of available grants is limited, and awardees will be selected based on order of reception and originality of the response to following question here raised.

The amount of aid will be set by region as follows:

Centro Bs.F 300

Oriente Bs.F 400

Nueva Esparta Bs.F 500

Occidente Bs.F 400

This Open Call is valid through October 30, 2012.

Awardees will be notified via email October 31, 2012.

By applying to this travel grant, you accept to be included in the email listserv of the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to receive information on the seminar and future activities.