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Synopsis

This is the text for Otras Miradas = Other Glances, written by the historian and art critic Carmen María Jaramillo Jiménez for the exhibition that was organized with the help of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004. The exhibition included works by “ten Colombian women artists who explore the war’s impact on the population and its short- and long-term consequences that lead to an erosion of fundamental values such as the protection of life and respect for others.” The artists involved come from different generations of Colombia’s art history: Débora Arango (1907–2005), Beatriz González (b. 1938), María Fernanda Cardoso (b. 1963), Clemencia Echeverri (b. 1950), María Elvira Escallón (b. 1954), Gloria Posada (b. 1967), Libia Posada (b. 1959), Patricia Bravo (b. 1966), Johanna Calle (b. 1965), and Delcy Morelos (b. 1967). Jaramillo’s research and theoretical approach to memory are constants in this essay as she examines each of the works and discusses them within their particular social context, comparing them to earlier works in the Colombian canon in terms of how they address the concept of “memory.” In her essay, Jaramillo explains that the exhibition does not attempt to present a single, “preconceived” vision, but instead attempts to show “multiple visions.” She refers to certain strategies that some of the works have in common—insistence, a strategy involving a mirror and a reticule—that are used to emphasize the idea of construction or reconstruction of memory. The essay includes rich critical references to thinkers, such as the Viennese sociologist and anthropologist Riane Eisler and the French sociologist Daniel Pécaut, among other intellectuals.

Annotations

In the late twentieth century there were a number of exhibitions of works by noted women visual artists that explored the role of “the feminine,” as in the case of the I Salón de Arte Femenino [First Women’s Art Salon], 1951 [see docs. nos. 1097738 and 1097772] and the Primer Salón de Pintoras Colombianas [First Colombian Women Painters Salon]. The book Pintoras Colombianas  Contemporáneas [Contemporary Colombian Women Painters] (1959), written by the Austrian critic Walter Engel (1908–2005), took the important step of explicitly acknowledging a woman’s right to exhibit her work in National Salons and international competitions. Otras Miradas = Other Glances, on the other hand, takes an unusual approach by analyzing the viewer’s immersion in the works, attracted by their level of sophistication. The artists reveal a subtle aesthetic in their interpretations of the statements and events spawned by violence.

 

The author’s research takes a critical, thoughtful approach to understanding how discourse has been created and how Colombian art history and criticism have been written [see “Una mirada a los orígenes del campo de la crítica de arte en Colombia” [A Review of the Origins of Art Criticism in Colombia], doc. no. 1094156]. She also underscores the complexity of the historical processes that gave birth to modern art in Colombia; her own research is an example, guided as it was by her master’s degree in the history of art and architecture from the National University. She focuses mainly on the cracks in Colombian modern art, as expressed in Revista Textos [Texts Magazine] in: “Una aproximación a la consolidación del arte moderno colombiano” [A Description of the Consolidation of Colombian Modern Art] [doc. no. 1098094]. 

 

The freelance curator and researcher Carmen María Jaramillo was the director of the Banco de la República’s Art Collections (2009–10). She was the curator at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá and director of Artes Visuales de Colcultura [Colcultura Visual Arts]—now known as the Colombian Ministry of Culture. She is the author of the books Carlos Rojas and Alejandro Obregón: El mago del Caribe [Alejandro Obregón: The Magician of the Caribbean] [see doc. no. 1093096]. She has conducted research projects such as “Arte moderno y contemporáneo en Colombia” [Modern and Contemporary Art in Colombia], both for the Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo [District Institute of Culture and Tourism] and for the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá. At time of writing in 2009, Jaramillo is a professor at the University of the Andes in Bogotá. Other curatorial documents are available as follows: [see “A través del espejo: autorreflexión de la pintura” [Through the Looking Glass: Painting’s Self-Reflection], 1998, doc. no. 1076656; “Sergio Trujillo Magnenant: exposición antológica” [Sergio Trujillo Magnenant: Retrospective Exhibition], doc. no. 1093289, and “Rafael Echeverri,” doc. no. 1129294]. 

Researcher
Eliana Salazar Moreno
Team
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Credit
Courtesy of Carmen María Jaramillo, Bogotá, Colombia.
Reproduced with permission of Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Bogotá, República de Colombia