EL ARTE LATEX 2006

Latex art: images, reflection, and AIDS brings together artists from different contemporary streams working with different plastic means.
From its onset, AIDS has been addressed by American and European artists, its clinical, social and cultural approach changing from the 1980s to date.
Although the exhibition expresses the feelings behind these first interventions with works by the Spaniard Pepe Espaliu like el nido, the carrying, or the patrones series, and by the Argentinean artists Alejandro KuropatwaCóctel, and Liliana Marescaand her Frenesí video, it is focused on the current view of the pandemic, bluntly summarised by the photographs of Alicia Lamarca and Eduardo Nave. Their works add to the comparison with features which show AIDS as a terminal hopeless disease, and enhance the reflection of the disease in the sufferers’ everyday life.

Outstanding artists, like Pepe Miralles –the founder of Colectivo Local Neutral andProyecto 1 de Diciembre– and Javier Codesal are also represented. Their art pieces have continuously got closer and closer to the disease. Pepe Miralles has even taken a further step, carrying out dissemination and education activities in the exhibition itself, such as the Information Centre, a space for reference and action where visitors are encouraged to analyse the reality of AIDS in today’s society, after 20 years.
In his Dias de SIDA, Codesal shows us his view on the disease. He stresses his rejection to images of fear, but at the same time he is against icons in which fear or any sign of the disease seem to have vanished.

Exhibitions and isolated actions have been seen every now and then in the Spanish art scene:
50 artistas contra el SIDA, held in Seville in 1995, and Frente al SIDA held at the Foundation Art Reale of Madrid, with 70 artists reflecting on the pandemic. Paco de la Torre was one of the participants. In Late(x) Art, six of his paintings address the ‘no-contact’ topic, delving into the fate of senses and the evolution of sexual contacts.
Art actions against AIDS in Latin America are also represented in the exhibition with the works of Venezuelan artist Liliana. She presented her installation Give-see-take in 1997. She has now returned to the subject, nine years later, with her installationProtecting since 1564, included in Late(x) Art, offering her blunt view on the Church and AIDS.
Plurality is a constant feature in the exhibition, which ensures the presence of new works by artists who approach the topic for the first time, together with previous works.

Among those with a first immersion into the AIDS subject is Antuan, a Cuban-descent artist living in Miami whose works have a markedly social background. His installation,Testimonios, uses text as an instrument to reach the audience, and a spoon and a fork for us to “seat” at a peculiar table and enjoy the bittersweet taste of words.
Similarly, other works have been selected for their sharp message and as food for thought for visitors, given their rich visual contents. This is the case with Patricia Gómez‘s cajas de resonancia y de música (sound and music boxes), whose poetics matches the feelings we want to express perfectly.
In line with Patricia, Maldita Bendición, by Fernando Bellver, embodies the subject with female nude forms, and also touches on prevention. Both pieces of work complement and oppose one another: Bellver’s female figure is provocative and daring, while Patricia’s one conceals itself.

Finally, two audiovisuals supplement the information to visitors and complete the social view of AIDS. One is the exhibition’s starting point. It covers the prevention aspect, a major concern worldwide. It shows real testimonies of people from sectors more prone to contagion. Thought-provoking images from campaigns and press cuttings make up the background to the testimonies.
The second audiovisual includes forceful film scenes featuring the AIDS issue from its onset to date.
Late(x) Art is an approach to AIDS from different art strategies which allow us to listen, see, learn, and recognise AIDS globally; the exhibition catalogue offers further information not only from an artistic and cultural viewpoint but also from a medical and psycho-social perspective.
Our aim and motivation is for people not to feel indifferent when they come and see the exhibition, and to make them aware.
Curators:  Sofía Barrón and Judith Navarro
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