The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay written for the exhibition Jump Cuts: Venezuelan Contemporary Art, Colección Mercantil, held in 2007, Venezuelan critic and curator Jesús Fuenmayor uses the cinematographic notion of “the jump cut” to formulate a vision of contemporary art from Venezuela. The term “jump cut” refers to “cuts from one shot to the next [that] evidence the ellipses in the action and produce a dislocation of the spatial axes and the frictions between image and sound.” Fuenmayor asserts that in terms of art, this means a “critical assimilation of contingency”; in other words, each artist assimilates the conditions in which he works from a critical perspective with an understanding that those conditions do not transcend history but are “very much of their time,” and therefore must be approached in terms of their specific contingency. Fuenmayor views these abrupt changes in contextual relationships—which make it impossible to speak of continuity or of absolute rupture—in terms of four specific themes: “The modern vernacular,” “From the object to the mode of representation,” “Art Thought,” and “Necrophilia.”
The exhibition Jump Cuts: Venezuelan Contemporary Art, Colección Mercantil was held at the Americas Society in New York from February 24 to May 21, 2007; and at CIFO Art Space, Miami, from June 1 to July 15, 2007. While the exhibition mainly focused on works created from the nineties on, it included major works from earlier periods, which provided the cornerstones for thematic clusters in the exhibition. The curators were art critic Jesús Fuenmayor—who wrote the central text of the catalogue—and curators Lorena González and Tahía Rivero, the latter of whom is the curator of the Colección Mercantil. The use of a concept developed by filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard demonstrates the heterogeneous nature of current art from Venezuela, with its range of formats and conceptualizations. That does not, however, preclude discursive continuity, as is evident in the exhibition’s four central themes. Thus, the term “jump cuts” acts as a metaphor that attempts to expand the approach to Venezuelan art today in terms of meaning as well as setting.