Orientation trips
The Mondriaan Fund organises orientation trips for visual artists and mediators to Asia, Latin America and Africa since 2004. The trips are aimed at exchange and cooperation between visual art professionals.

The International Art Fair of Bogota aka ArtBo first opened in 2005 and consequently the opening on Thursday October 1st marked the fair’s 11th birthday.

Over the years, I’ve visited quite a lot of art fairs in the US and Europe, but as this trip marked my first visit ever in South America (!); I’d never visited an art fair at this latitude before. Accordingly I was excited to visit; get a feel of the fair, and to see for myself if the positive rumours abounding ARTBO’s quality were true. For some years now, art professionals have been buzzing about the promising Colombian art scene and art marked, including ARTBO, which supposedly has entered the international art fair league especially since 2012 when María Paz Gaviria Múñoz (daughter of the former Colombian president César Gaviria) took over directorship.

The fair boasts to be the “leading art fair in Latin America” and after having seen it you are likely to agree: The fair has a nice suitable size, and the quality of work presented is in general good. The ambitious TALKS programme, FORUM, is moderated by José Roca, and international curators like Manuela Moscoso and Catalina Lozano have curated special sections of the fair.

The fair is still quite young but seems to be heading in the right direction in terms of quality and intercontinental representation. Also: The fair has a sleek graphic line and is very active on social media platforms launching video teasers introducing the fair and its sections. I highly recommend that you visit ARTBO’s you tube Channel where you’ll find numerous short videos shot both before and during the fair.

-Dates: October 1st-4th 2015
-Visitors: ca. 35,000
-Artists represented: ca. 500
-Participating galleries: 84

European galleries: 24 (29 %):
From 24 European galleries 10 are from Spain
US galleries: 9 (11 % )
Latin American Galleries: 51 (61%)
Galleries from Spanish speaking countries: 65%

The 2015 edition features 84 galleries – 70 of these presenting works in the Main section and 14 galleries displaying single-artist presentations in the Projects-section co-curated by Manuela Moscoso and Catalina Lozano.

“The works found in this section offer formal, conceptual and historiographical examples that oppose or explore the relationship between figure and background as a complex exchange between the specific and the general, the fragment and the whole, the primary and the secondary narrative. ‘Projects’ 2015 aims to analyze the epistemological nuances of modernity, with special focus on the Cartesian legacy and the dialectical relationships that this perspective reveals.” (from curator’s statement)

Cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto was one of the artists participating in the curated Projects-section, represented by his Dutch gallery Annet Gelink. The ARTBO presentation included Prieto’s project “Loophole” featuring images created with a hole-puncher, exhibited in one straight line, putting emphasis on the most traditional way of displaying an artwork.

Wilfredo Prieto has punched out holes and framed them individually. Each has a special provenience which you can read about in the related mini-book.

Apart from the Main Section and the Projects section ARTBO also featured the curated section “References” (curator: Ana María Lozano Rocha) which has more of a museum-exhibition feel, featuring wall texts along with works of historical and modern masters, who have become references for later generations of artists. References featured marvellous modern pieces and the section was very informative for guests like me, who still have some reading to do on South American art history.

Others sections yet are ArteCámara, sympathetically dedicated to artists under 40 – as yet unrepresented by a gallery, and SITIO, dedicated to large scale, odd-size pieces, and site specific works placed around Bogotá.

Snapshots impressions ARTBO 2015

Ane Bulow