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    Norden, Isadora de
    [Hace tres años, la Alianza Colombo Francesa de Bogotá...] / Isadora de Norden
    Nuevas Propuestas : arte colombiano : 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. -- Bogotá, Colombia : Alliance Française, 2003
    p. 9- 10
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    De Norden, Isadora. “[Hace tres años, la Alianza Colombo Francesa de Bogotá...].” In Nuevas Propuestas: arte colombiano: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 9–10. Exh. cat., Bogotá, Colombia : Alliance Française, 2003.

Isadora de Norden—who was president of the Colombian-French Alliance’s Cultural Committee in Bogotá—wrote this introduction to the first publication of “Nuevas propuestas: arte colombiano 1999-2002” [New Works: Colombian Art 1999-2002]. Her essay combines the written reports of the research conducted by the Colombian curators María Iovino, Carmen María Jaramillo, and José Ignacio Roca. It includes reproductions of works by the under-35-year-old artists who were invited to participate in this program created to identify and expose new visual art works in Colombia. De Norden notes certain commonalities among the works in the exhibition as she discusses the artists’ thinking in terms of their environment and artistic influences. She announces a future publication devoted to photography and new media scheduled for 2003, and extends thanks to the Alliance’s directors and cultural committee. 


The catalogue Nuevas Propuestas [New Works] is a compendium of the third year of the curatorial program of the same name created by the Colombian-French Alliance in Bogotá—still operating in 2009—that tracked annual exhibitions from 1999 through 2002. De Norden’s essay is important because it presents a conceptual map that identifies key themes that help to understand contemporary art at the turn of the millennium. Concepts such as the city, the body, memory, high art and popular art, among others, were identified based on curatorial and research projects conducted during exhibitions of works by artists of the ‘intermediate’ generation, as well as some who were under 35 years of age. The local curators María Iovino, Carmen María Jaramillo, and José Ignacio Roca had been closely following art practices in recent decades, suggesting new approaches to and readings on art within the context of Colombian reality. The Nuevas Propuestas program’s catalogues are therefore important documents for those who are interested in learning about the latest art being produced in Colombia because the essays are published, with photos and bios of the participants, in Spanish and French. In addition to this document, the Colombian-French Alliance has also published the following Nuevas Propuestas catalogues: Fotografía y nuevos medios, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 [Photography and New Media], and Modalidad artes plásticas, fotografía y nuevos medios [Visual Art, Photography, and New Media], (2004).   


This document is also important because it describes the contribution made by curatorial research to the “new discourse” on art in Colombia, which can be understood from a historical perspective given that a more recent study of art based on critical and curatorial exercises reveals a variety of approaches, readings, and interpretations. These have developed, to some extent, since the latter part of the 1990s as a result of the recent professionalization of curatorial practices; they are also due to a restructuring of art criticism in which artists of different generations play an extremely important role. Since the early 1990s, artists have been demanding new exhibition spaces and opportunities to expose their work, expanding their field of action to include writing and the organization of cultural projects. For more information on curatorial texts associated with Nuevas Propuestas [see doc. # 1130006 and doc. # 1129686]. 


Isadora De Norden has a wealth of experience in the cultural sector. She has held positions such as Director of the Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe [Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean] (Cerlalc) (2005-2009); Director of the Instituto Colombiano de Cultura [Colombian Cultural Institute] (Colcultura), where she sponsored the Ley General de Cultura [General Law of Culture] that led to the founding of the current Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia [Colombian Ministry of Culture]. She was also the founder and director of the Cinemateca Distrital de Bogotá [District Cinematec in Bogotá]; founder and general manager of the Compañía de Fomento Cinematográfico [Company for the Promotion of Cinematography] (Focine) in Colombia; Director of the Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo [District Institute of Culture and Tourism] (IDCT) in Bogotá; and Director General and Academic Coordinator of the Meetings for the Promotion and Exposure of the Folkloric Heritage of the Andean Countries. 

Eliana Salazar Moreno
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Alianza Colombo Francesa de Bogotá, Colombia