Situating No-land: Videoart from Latin America

An exhibition exploring the specific social, political and cultural contexts of Latin America


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies
  • Memory

Organizing Institutions



Rodrigo Alonso


Osvaldo Romberg


Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania

Opens to public



4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


25% Formal - 75% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce "Situating No-land: Videoart from Latin America," on display from April 30 through June 30, 2011. The exhibition has been curated by Buenos Aires-based curator Rodrigo Alonso, and organized for Slought by Osvaldo Romberg. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 30th from 6:30-8:30pm, with a presentation by the curator from 6:30-7:30pm.

The works in this exhibition investigate social, political and cultural situations that are specific to their particular context. Situated between the document and its staging, between the field of study and a more ironic gaze, they address a variety of singular environments where questions pertaining to history, politics, community and gender are manifest. Each work, in its own way, questions its sociocultural environment and responds from a particular viewpoint. Avoiding generalizations, in this way these works form a brief overview of contemporary video art, in that uncertain territory we know as Latin America.

Probably it is not correct to speak of a Latin American video art. A region as vast and diverse as Latin America can not be easily reduced to a set of more or less common characteristics, no matter how extensive the criteria for their selection. Moreover, today the operation seems unnecessary. In a world which celebrates diversity, is suspicious of systems of representation, and which is looking to the singular and globally, it would be more appropriate to avoid any type of regionalism. However, the meeting of a group of electronic works produced in this area allows us to approximate a particular way of seeing and thinking and to consider specific contexts of production. From this perspective, it is possible to find affinities, to propose particular lines of thought, to confront visions and realities, and to question our ways of seeing in order to open new fields of analysis and reflection.

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The exhibition program features the following works:

Yamaikaleter, by Alexander Apostol (Venezuela, 2009)

In a poor neighborhood of Caracas, a group of people read aloud the "Letter of Jamaica," which is a letter on the emancipation of Latin America written in 1815 by Simón Bolívar. The letter was originally written in English. The difficulty that its readers have in reciting it serves as a commentary on the integration of these people into the emancipated world.

El campo del dolor/The field of pain, Erika Lopez and Javier Meza (Paraguay, 2001)

This video documents an intervention on a bus in the city of Asuncion, Paraguay, and shows two speeches of short sequence recited in a public arena: a religious sermon, and a discourse on the role of cultural producers and the autonomy of art.

Round and Round and Consumed by Fire, by Claudia Joskowicz (Bolivia, 2009)

Traveling very slowly, the camera listens to the place where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid clashed with Bolivian police and were eventually killed. The video is part of a series in which the artist investigates the death of famous historical figures in the Bolivian territory, and their political and historical implications.

Tuyo es el reino/Thine is the kingdom, by Patricia Bueno (Peru, 2007)

Three women, presumably sisters, are wearing semi-transparent Andean masks and manipulate three mannequins that serve as their alter-egos. They are dressed in black, and wear moth-eaten fur. The three met for dinner after a painful event, surrounded by symbols of the nation.

Cómo sos tan lindo/How you're so cute, by Paula Delgado (Uruguay/Chile, 2005)

From an ad in the paper that calls for attractive men, the artist organizes a casting that is, in fact, the framework for thinking about the perception of male beauty, and ultimately, on the stereotypes, prejudices, and taboos through which masculinity is structured. This video is part of a series held in different countries.

Sólo hombres solos/Only single men, by Daniel Böhm (Argentina, 2007)

Inspired by the work of Duane Michals, this video shows three men who live in the same apartment, without noticing each other's presence. They are actually the same man in three different stages of their lives. One day an accident occurs and their paths cross. The piece is a poetic research on male bonding and movement.

CITtA, by Fernando Llanos (Mexico, 2004)

What's a life of solitude in a city of twenty million people? In this video, the artist sets out to examine different forms of satisfaction of solitude that a metropolis like Mexico City offers, exploring the thin line that separates (or unites) the personal and social.

Havana, 15 seconds, by Celia - Yunior (Cuba, 2008)

A hole in the wall reveals a few seconds of the life of a street in Havana, while a home air conditioner is replaced for another. The provenance of the artifacts show that the change is not only a domestic one that concerns the interior climate, but also one that is economic and social.

Wild Life, by Wagner Morales (Brazil, 2006)

A group of tourists made a boat trip through Patagonia. Through the windows they can see the vegetation and fauna. But the tourists, obviously tired and bored, are unable to appreciate the world that unfolds beyond the interior of the vehicle that moves them through the landscape.

Rodrigo Alonso is a professor and independent curator. He received his Master's Degree in Fine Arts from University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina, specializing in contemporary art and new media. He is a professor at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the Universidad del Salvador (USal), and the National University of Arts (IUNA), Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also a professor and member of the Advisor Committee for the Masters on Curatorial and Cultural Practices in Art and New Media at the Media Centre of Art and Design (MECAD), Barcelona, Spain. As a critic, Alonso regularly contributes to Ámbito Financiero, an Argentine newspaper, and, an international art magazine based in Spain. His books include Muntadas. Con/Textos (Buenos Aires, 2002), Ansia y Devoción (Buenos Aires, 2003), and Jaime Davidovich. Video Works. 1970-2000 (New York, 2004). He has curated contemporary art exhibitions at respected art venues in Argentina and Latin America, as well as internationally.