Over more than two decades, the Venezuelan artist Alexander Apóstol, through his visual and conceptual art, has highlighted the different relationships between power, art, sexuality and cities, highlighting them as determining factors for his inhabitants, but which, in turn, suggest the questioning of democratic ideologies and opportunities in Latin America.
An anthology of his work is exhibited at the University Museum of Contemporary Art. Alexander Apostle. Posture and geometry in the era of tropical autocracy, is a traveling exhibition, shared with the Dos de Mayo Art Center Museum, in Madrid; the Proa Foundation, of Buenos Aires; and the Museum of Modern Art, in Bogotá.
“This exhibition gives keys to recent Venezuelan history, evidently crossed by the history of Chavismo, whose way of exercising power we are seeing in other Latin American and even European countries, hence the title,” explains Alexander Apóstol, in an interview with The Sun of Mexico.
“But it also refers to the geometry and posture of bodies in art and architecture, due to its importance in the history of Latin America and Venezuela, which have had a deep relationship with power, first as a political discourse and then as State,” he adds.
11 works are exhibited, made between 2005 and 2023; videos, photographic series and conceptual actions where he has put these ideas into practice, which Apóstol believes will be well identified by viewers in our country, since it is a process similar to what happened with Mexican muralism.
The artist highlights a series of photographs and a video titled Rehearsing the national position (2010), in which he questions the Venezuelan ideal, proposed by the aesthetics of the Italian painter Pedro Centeno Vallenilla, author of paintings that adorned the buildings of the dictator Marco Pérez Jiménez. By documenting in images naked people who emulate the figures in those paintings, full of positions that are difficult to maintain, he refers to how difficult it is to reconcile ideology and reality.
“Just as every act is political, so is our body, the way we modify it and handle ourselves. In this piece what is evident is the great discomfort with unresolved ideas, about how we see ourselves in terms of the military, the civil and the racial, unresolved problems in the national imaginaries of my country,” the artist points out. .
CREATIVITY: GAME OF SEDUCTION AND POWER
Among the works highlighted by the author of this exhibition is the video Libertador Avenue(2006), with which he documented a point of clash between social dynamics and territorial division, on the avenue that gives it its name and divides two colonies in political conflict that is expressed artistically, while transgender workers seek to survive.
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He also mentions that in the exhibition, in addition to other conceptual, video and audio pieces, a mural measuring 16 meters long by six meters wide is displayed in which various logos of the political parties that have become extinct in Venezuela and are displayed. that are part of a “pantheon” of democracy, in which if one forgets that they are political symbols, one can see the influence of Latin American geometric art.
“In every creative act there is a game of power and seduction, whether at the domestic, individual, or community, and political level. Political leaders and, what’s more, all those who in some way produce or disseminate creative acts, know that they have a very powerful tool to exercise said power, be it painting, architecture, music, literature. Thinking that art is apolitical is a naive, naive idea,” says Apóstol.