Bogotá, Colombia - The nominees were chosen through the 2018 District Stimulus Program and each received 17 million Colombian pesos to carry out their work.


The Luis Caballero Prize is an initiative of the Bogota City Hall, and its organization and public staging is the responsibility of the District Institute of the Arts - Idartes. The nominees for each version are selected by a public call that takes place every two years, aimed at artists over 35 years of age with a medium career, through which a cycle of artistic interventions is configured that pays attention to spatial and social qualities: geographical, historical, political and urban architectural of the spaces that house them.


The exhibitions will end in 2020, when the jurors of this edition Juan David Laserna, Carolina Ponce de León and Santiago Rueda will choose the winner, who will receive 45 million pesos and a construction commission for an unpublished project that will be exhibited at the Santa Fe Gallery in 2021.


Gabriel Zea will be the first artist to present his work Monument to the Unknown Screw, at the Monument to the Heroes. Like him, the eight nominees for the award will be in different parts of the city (The Santa Fe Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá, the Santa Clara Museum and the Banco de la República) making an intervention with photography, video, sound, sculpture, painting and installation.



The exhibitions question the country's transportation, the relationship between art and mediation, the worker as a replaceable part in the gear, decomposition of materials from nature to its relationship with the human being, the secrets that the earth keeps, the world of seeds, salt mines, reflections on institutional policies on public space, and even shadows, evidenced in the capture of Jesús Santrich at his residence in the Modelia neighborhood in Bogotá.



Gabriel Zea was the first to open his work Monument to the Unknown Screw at the Heroes Monument, one of eight site-specific projects taking place in the city. For some years the artist has been wondering about what it means to work in the current context, that of capitalism, the anguish of modernity and the conditions of employees; a reflection that also related to his poetic interests.



La Decanatura (Elkin Calderón and Diego Piñeros) presents its intervention in the Monument to the Heroes as a social criticism of the precarious advances in the field of transportation in Colombia. De la mula al avion (From the mule to the plane), poses an abrupt jump in which little planning and false progress are evident. The exhibition features a mule with which attendees interact pulling, but always returns to its place. On other floors, it is experiential videos that powerfully attract the attention of visitors.



Carlos Bonil presents his work at The Miguel Urrutia Art Museum as a reflection on the ideas that have overlapped in recent years, regarding truth, politics and the conception of today's society.

“Remembering Brueghel the Elder's Triumph of Death, I think of the city as a murky soil. A common space with a lot of slowly decomposing organic material. Not only do I think of death, plant, animal and human microorganisms, but also of the ways of thinking, the hierarchies and the political and religious positions. The only industry that survives is that of death," says Bonil.



Eduar Moreno assures that Luis Caballero is undoubtedly one of the most revealing painters of modernity, but that he was also trapped in that same stadium. “Caballero enunciates things like ‘just as I had to be an artist, I had to be a fag. I would say, I had to be modernist. ’ Luis Caballero is someone who tries to escape from what he got. I thought many things about what it meant to touch and I find myself with an untouchable place. Santa Clara is a heritage site and that heritage also has to do with untouchability," he says.

And it is precisely this character of the untouchable that leads him to look for a work like this, which will touch viewers in every way, the soul and the body. “I wanted to touch the other”. That is why he included a group of women who fix nails, who have perhaps one of the most interesting components of his work. They not only contribute to the breakdown of the patrimonialism of the church, where the work is located, but they are easily the example of what happens in beauty salons, where confession operates calmly and the phenomenon of 'secrecy' is not broken. Additionally, a place that breaks subalternity problems, all in the same place, at the same level. That is his proposal Provocar el archivo. (Provoke the file)


Delcy Morelos presents her project Moradas (Abodes). The artist from Tierralta (Córdoba, Colombia), will make her intervention in situ in the largest public art room in the country. Morelos says that "space speaks to her." First from silence, which approaches without having something pre-established, just listen and the rest is a consequence. Then, through the observation of light and how it acts in space, darkness, the climate of the place, depth, distances, everything makes possible the relationship with her work.

Installed in the underground space of the new Santa Fe Gallery, Moradas refers to the production cycle of life in which death has an intrinsic role. The earth, where we bury our dead, is the substratum in which life takes place and where the remains of beings are transformed into fertilizer, fertilize the earth and enable the production of new life.



María Elvira Escallón represents the feeling and the longing for peace of Colombians in her work En el fértil suelo – La travesía (In the fertile soil - The journey), which will be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá.

Her inspiration came with The Iliad. "They stopped the steeds, they lowered the cars and leaving the armor on the fertile ground they got very close to each other," an image of Homer's work that Escallón found similar at the time of the laying down of arms in the Colombian armed conflict. Achaeans and Trojans, after 10 years of fighting, were disarmed on the battlefield, historically irreconcilable enemies were now exposed and vulnerable. Army and Farc did the same with a peace agreement.


For now, the last two samples, by Sánchez and Buenaventura, are interrupted by the pandemic.


Alguna vez comimos maíz y pescado (We once ate corn and fish), María Buenaventura’s work, is located in the Galeria Santa Fe, under the Plaza de La Concordia. The space is taken here as the basement of the market. A place in the underworld.


Torcido (Twisted), by Edwin Sánchez, refers to the fact that the city hides the unbearable, the phenomenon that occurs thanks to urban policies that project a city model based on the exclusion of everything that is not contemplated within its ideals of progress. This exclusion creates places such as the Special High Impact Services Zone (known as the tolerance zone) of the Santa Fe neighborhood where numerous phenomena occur that appear from the actions of those who constitute society.

Torcido is an installation that thinks about the phenomena of the tolerance zone of the Santa Fe neighborhood through a structural concept, concealment, which is presented both in the methods used by administrative policies and in the actions of individuals when masking your most intimate wishes.



The juries of this version are Carolina Ponce de León Nieto, who was the director of plastic arts for the Galería de la Raza in San Francisco, Juan David Laserna Montoya, master of the National University, winner of the IX Luis Caballero 2017 Prize and Santiago Rueda Fajardo, PhD cum laude in History, Theory and Art Criticism from the University of Barcelona (Spain). And one of the main researchers in Colombian photography.