Emotion, Nation and Imagination

Does Art Represent Place?

by | Dec 30, 2001

Naide. La Insoportable Levedad de la Evidencia.

Five Colombian-born US based artists exhibited their works in a group show entitled Colombians: Between Emotion, Nation and Imagination, sponsored in part by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Colombian Consulate in Boston. The exhibit at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, curated by Shaari Neretin and Angela Perez Meji­a, sought to explore the interplay between national identity, the production of art, and the viewing of art. Given Colombia’s political situation, it was a provocative subject matter for artists and viewers alike. The content of the art work ranged from Colombian landscapes painted on raw wood brought from Colombia to political cartoons to fanciful word play between Spanish and English. Participating artists were: Elsa Borrero, cybachrome prints; Ana Uribe, acrylics and oils; Josefina Jacquin Bates, silk-screen prints; Jairo Barrag¡n (Naide), political cartoons and acrylic paintings; and Jorge Olarte, mixed media sculptures. Luis Camnitzer, visual artist and art critic gave a gallery talk focusing on art and national identity. At first, the exhibiting artists represented themselves foremost as artists, but they all said they were delighted to be exhibiting in this group show with other Colombians. As one artist initially stated: “I am more emotional [about making her art than national.” Perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive.

Winter/Spring 2001

Shaari Neretin is a social worker and activist.

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