ALEXANDER APÓSTOL: POSTURE AND GEOMETRY IN THE ERA OF TROPICAL AUTOCRACY
The exhibition of the multimedia conceptual artist Alexander Apóstol opened at the PROA21 space. Curated by the theorist and historian Cuauhtemoc Medina, it brings together works produced between 2009 and 2018 closely linked to the Venezuelan reality, his country of origin.
Apóstol develops his production in media such as video and photography to explore themes linked to gender identity, and also of origin: several of his works reflect a critical look at the modernizing projects of Venezuela in particular, and Latin America in general, pointing out the distances that often exist between the great political narratives and the everyday reality of the people.
The question of identity, or more precisely identities, is a constant in Apóstol's work. These identities often inhabit the same body, as they are not exclusive and each one of us is constituted by superpositions and contradictions. This plurality that constitutes us –sometimes of peaceful coexistence and sometimes of plain contradiction– is where we speak from. Some are imposed from the outside, others we are able to choose for ourselves.
Cuauhtemoc Medina, the curator of the exhibition, says: "Since the 1990s, the work of Alexander Apóstol has highlighted the different codes of gender, race and identity that accompany the ideologies of Latin America. This critique encompasses the colorful and optimistic imaginary of modernization and developmentalism, as well as the catalog of bodily and sexualized fantasies of nationalism and populism in the continent".
On display are pieces from the series Régimen: A dramatis personae [Regime: A dramatis personae] (2018), Avenida Libertador [Libertador Avenue] (2006), Ensayando la postura nacional [Rehearsing the national posture] (2010), Yamaikaleter (2009) and Partidos políticos desaparecidos [Disappeared political parties] (2018).
Alexander Apóstol (Barquisimeto, Venezuela 1969) is one of the most outstanding artists on the Latin American scene. His international presence has earned him monographic exhibitions at the CIFO Foundation in Miami, the MALBA in Buenos Aires, the CAPC in Bordeaux, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City, the MUSAC in Leon and the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo in Madrid. His work has also been presented in relevant international events, such as the biennials of Shanghai, Venice, Gwangju, São Paulo, EVA International, Manifesta, Canary Islands, Havana, Prague, Cuenca, Istanbul, etc. His works belong to important public and private collections, such as the Tate Modern, London; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Pompidou Center, Paris; the Pérez Art Museum and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation CIFO, Miami; the Banco de la República Museum, Bogotá; the Patricia Phels de Cisneros Collection in Caracas, the CA2M Museum and the ARCO Foundation, Madrid.
Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico City, December 5, 1965) holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Essex and a BA in History from the Universidad Autónoma de México. He has been a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at UNAM since 1993, and between 2002 and 2008 he was the first Associate Curator of Latin American Art in the Tate Modern Collections. Since 2013 he has been Chief Curator of the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) at UNAM where he has curated shows by artists such as Andrea Fraser, Carlos Amorales, Harun Farocki, Jill Magid, Jeremy Deller, Vicente Rojo, Jan Hendrix, Ai Weiwei and the Raqs Media Collective, among others. In 2012 he curated Manifesta 9: The Deep of the Modern in Genk, Belgium. In 2018 he curated the 12th Shanghai Biennale titled Proregress. Art in the age of historical ambivalence at the Power Station of Art. In 2012 he became the sixth recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement from the Menil Foundation. His books include Mutual Abuse. Essays and Interventions on Post-Mexican Art (1992-2013) (Cubo Blanco and RM, 2017) and An Ideal City: the Olinka of Dr. Atl (Colegio Nacional, 2019).