The innovative talent of Latin-American video artists

July 2007 -

Videografías Invisibles is an itinerant exhibition of recent Latin-American video art. It visited Lima (Peru) in June 2007 where one of the curators, José-Carlos Mariátegui, took part in an interview.


Still from: Allora y Calzadilla - Cuba

"How were these programmes selected?"
"The five programmes in the exhibition are based on possible conceptual affinities between recent productions by Latin-American video artists. The exhibition aims to show how these artists are currently contributing at international level to technical and conceptual innovations in video art."

"You say in the exhibition catalogue that video has now established itself as a medium in Latin-American audio-visual art. What specifically is the state of current Latin-American video art?"
"Video is a digital art form and, as such, both contemporary and universal; it is subject to global trends. So, I would find it very difficult to specifically characterise Latin-American video art. We consciously decided not to relate the programmes to themes that are generally associated with Latin-America such as poverty, Indian cultures and internal conflicts. What I did notice is that, in many of the 350 videos which I watched, memories and the use of archive material were recurrent topics. It might be interesting to look at the country-specific aspects of the productions from the perspective of these two themes."


Still from: El hogar y sus fantasías - Ángel Alonso - Cuba

"Does a video artist in Latin America get enough opportunity to produce work?"
"In contrast with Europe, there is hardly any financial support in Latin America for digital artistic productions. So media artists are in a tough situation. Most distribution channels are set up and maintained by individuals - often exhibition curators or initiators of media projects. Many video artists have to find jobs in other sectors to finance their art. This makes some of them leave video art for what it is after a few years, but it also makes the art form more diverse and multi-disciplinary."

"How much support does video art in Latin American get from the main art institutions?"
"Video art has only been accepted as a fully-fledged art form here since the late 1990s - not just under the influence of international trends in digital art, but also because Latin-American cultural organisations have been giving more encouragement to the production and dissemination of video art. That said, it is still difficult to get video art exhibited in Latin America."