Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture
April 10–August 10, 2014
Curated by José Roca with Alejandro Martín.
Artists and designers included: Olga de Amaral, Susana Mejía, Alberto Baraya, Abel Rodríguez, David Consuegra, Tangrama, Monika Bravo, Ceci Arango, Clemencia Echeverri, Marcelo Villegas, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, Lucy Salamanca, Jorge Lizarazo, Nicolás Consuegra, Carol Young.
The confluence of the image of the river and the act of weaving is present both metaphorically and literally across contemporary practices in Colombia. Using the river as a conceptual device to explore the intersections in Colombian culture today between design, craft, and art, Waterweavers investigates the intricate ways in which culture and nature can intertwine across disciplines. The Bard Graduate Center Gallery provides a backdrop for a series of displays that emerge from a curatorial strategy in which immersive environments presented on the walls frame three-dimensional pieces at the center of each room. The exhibition includes drawing, ceramics, graphic design, furniture, textiles, video, and installations. Unexpected juxtapositions create a critical and conceptual friction between works and practices that are seldom shown together.
Colombia is a country whose complex topography has historically caused waterways to be the only means of transportation between many communities—rivers have both united and separated people. Today, when most Colombians live in cities, rivers continue to serve as the sole access to remote areas, but they also play a new role, as the axis for a different type of economics: the black market fueling the armed conflict that has plagued Colombia for decades. Waterweavers addresses these issues from very different points of view, presenting a territory laden with conflict while showing the creative output that nevertheless thrives in the midst of—or in response to—hardship.
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Friday, April 11, 20146:30 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramJorge Lizarazo, Susana Mejía, José Roca, Gregory Volk
Tuesday, May 20, 20146:00 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramPaul Makovsky, Lucy Salamanca, Andreas Vaa Bermann
Thursday, May 29, 20146:00 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramJuan Carlos Galeano, Francisco Roldán, Olfary Gutiérrez
Thursday, June 5, 20146:30 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramPeter Hutton, Joshua Siegel
Thursday, June 19, 20146:00 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramMary Miss, Charles Vörösmarty, Andrew Revkin
Thursday, June 26, 20146:00 pm - 8:00 pmPublic ProgramMonika Bravo, Georgia de Havenon, José Roca
Waterweavers in the News
Edited by José Roca and Alejandro Martín
The exhibition catalogue, Waterweavers: A Chronicle of Rivers, features a selection of visual and textual narratives about Colombian rivers across time, including an essay by the co-curators addressing the river in contemporary Colombian visual and material culture, illustrations of works by the seventeen artists in the exhibition, and excerpts from literary and historical texts, many published for the first time in English, by such acclaimed Colombian authors as Fernanado Zalamea, Tomás Gonzalez, Héctor Abad, José Eustasio Rivera, Gabriel García Márquez, and Alfredo Molano. Renowned graphic designer Irma Boom designed the book. Boom‘s previous work includes two BGC catalogues, Sheila Hicks: Weaving as Metaphor (2006), a title honored as ”The Most Beautiful Book in the World“ at the Leipzig Book Fair, and Knoll Textiles, 1945–2010 (2011), which also received numerous accolades.
Curator, José Roca introduces the exhibition.
A River Runs Through It: The Amazon as Inspiration
by Holland Cotter
“‘Waterweavers’ is the most unassumingly beautiful show I’ve seen in New York this summer. And with its glades of abstract patterning, eddying pools of woven fiber, and projected images of water sluicing through galleries, it’s visually the coolest.” Read More
Nina Stritzler-Levine, Gallery Director at the BGC, gives NYC-Arts a tour of the Waterweavers exhibition. Watch the Video
Studio International interviews José Roca, curator of Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture. Read More
All photographs are provided courtesy of the artists, unless otherwise credited in the image captions, and are protected by copyright. Funding for Waterweavers is generously provided by Vivian Haime Barg, Alberto Mugrabi, and Leon Tovar Gallery. In-kind support provided by Christie‘s and Phillips. Special thanks also to Cristina Grajales Gallery.
Top Image: Installation view, Monika Bravo and Ceci Arango. Juan Luque, photographer.
Explore this interactive map to discover the relationship between the artworks on view in Waterweavers and seven rivers in Colombia (Amazon, Bogotá, Cahuinarí, Cauca, Magdalena, Putumayo, and Ranchería).
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