Trama offers an alternative to the established art scene

March 2004 -

Trama is an organisation that brings together Argentinean artists. The network was established in 2000 by individuals including Claudia Fontes, who had been resident artist at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

RAIN, the network of artists' initiatives by former Rijksakademie residents, has supported Trama from its beginning in terms of both content and funding. The Prins Claus fund has also supported a variety of their projects. 'There was no tradition of artists doing things together in Argentina,' says Gertrude Flentge of RAIN. 'In part due to the fact that an entire generation of artists fled the country or disappeared during the military junta period. However, there was a relatively small group of established artists that was market oriented and that had access to the major galleries. The established art world had a rather hierarchical structure, and was not readily accessible to artists outside of the limited circle of acquaintances or from outside of Buenos Aires.'

This is why Claudia Fontes wanted to bring artists into contact with one another: to collectively form an alternative to this established art scene. She and her co-initiators also wanted to mobilise artists so that their creative spirits could play a role in society. In the past five years Trama has helped artists professionalize their activities and has offered a supportive network.


Performance 'Point of View, Germaine Kruip

The club also organises cultural exchanges with other countries. One such project is Context. This project focuses on the 'translation' of illustrative arts from one context to another. Local artists assist foreign colleagues in 'translating' their work for the country they are visiting. Argentinean artists worked with Dutch artist Germaine Kruip to translate her performance 'Point of View', which Kruip had already staged in cities including Amsterdam and Oslo. In this performance, actors act as passers-by and people on the street. While the performance was played in Oslo in an atmosphere of consumption and emptiness, in Argentina 'Point of View' had a more political context. 'The performance plays with fiction and reality,' Gertrude Flentge explains. 'Due to its history, including with the junta and its atmosphere of silence and untruths, in Argentina these concepts have an entirely different meaning.'