Naranjo, Raúl. "Reflexiones, acciones y artefactos. Obras Raúl Naranjo 1997-2008," 2008. Typed manuscript. Private archive of Carlos Eduardo Monroy Guerrero, Sao Paulo, Brasil.
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In 2008, Raúl Naranjo wrote “Reflexiones, acciones y artefactos. Obras Raúl Naranjo 1997?2008,” a presentation and brief description of his work in the performance genre from 1997 until 2004. The text contains three parts. In the first, Naranjo explains the reasons for his interest in performance art and its practice. The second section is a brief analytical overview of Naranjo’s works, starting with his degree project La penetración violenta (1997?1998); this section encompasses as well the performances La ingestión (1998), Bajo la falda (1999), La clepsidra (2000), Cruzado (2000), and Ofertorio (2002). The third section consists of a thorough analysis of the “prostheses” the artist creates, whether extensions of his vital organs or straightjackets that restrict his mobility. The third section also sheds light on the socio-political and artistic connotations of Naranjo’s most recent piece entitled Artefactos que practican el cuerpo: el escarabajo (2006?2008), a video-performance produced with the support of both an AL RASO grant, which Naranjo received from the Universidad de Granada in 2006, and a grant from Fundación Comafosca of Barcelona.
In the text “Reflexiones, acciones y artefactos. Obras Raúl Naranjo 1997?2008,” Colombian artist Raúl Naranjo (b. 1968) puts into words the conceptual and practical reasons that he decided to work in the performance medium. Naranjo acknowledges in this text—a declaration of sorts— that violence is a basic theme in his work. He explains that he envisions the body in relation to the concepts of circulation and of writing, a formulation with socio-political connotations given the invisibility of the body in representations in the mass media, technology, and the State. In this statement, Naranjo discloses his stance on the use of the body as strategy for social protest and as vital rhythm (specifically in relation to his own body), as well as the re-conceptualization of gender issues in times of war.
The images of Naranjo’s performances that accompany the text are crucial insofar as they facilitate a comparison of the conceptual origin of each piece and its visual form. The third section discusses the use of iron structures as “prostheses” either to expand the artist’s body or to restrict its movement. The use of this formal resource runs through Naranjo’s work; it is central, Naranjo explains, to the conception and production of his most recent piece, Artefactos que practican el cuerpo: el escarabajo (2008). Naranjo forms part of a generation of artists active in the nineties who used performance as an activist strategy to address social issues. Naranjo’s work, like that of many others, is often steeped in ritualistic connotations. Ricardo Arcos-Palma’s study of this generation of artists is pertinent to this text [see doc. no. 1129750 and doc. no. 1132128].
Raúl Ernesto Naranjo Luna has a degree in the visual arts from the Academia Superior de Artes of Bogotá (ASAB). His work has been featured in exhibitions such as Actos de fabulación (2000) [doc. no. 1099666, doc. no. 1099681, and doc. no. 1129458] curated by Consuelo Pabón (b. 1961), and at venues such as L'Œil de Poisson gallery in Quebec (Canada). He was awarded the Carolina Oramas grant to study abroad. He is currently (2010) a Ph.D. student at the Universidad de Granada in Spain.