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Curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill addresses the work of the artists featured in the ninth Premio Eugenio Mendoza in terms of a number of visual and conceptual issues. In her view, the event attempted to expand and question any possible definition of contemporary art in order to legitimize the multiple discourses. The participants in this Premio Mendoza, who were from three different generations, reflected on and debated the problem of artistic creation.


In this text, curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill identifies different aspects of the works featured in the ninth Premio Mendoza: technology as artistic medium that demystifies high culture; globalization as the democratization of culture; and the liberalism of the art institution. The participating artists engaged with a number of issues as well, among them artistic creation in relation to questions, such as the originality of the work, the legitimacy of painting, popular and religious beliefs, the role of art in contemporary society, art as autobiographical resource, as laboratory, and as an approach to a dream-like state. Founded in 1984 as a continuation of what were called the “eleven guys” exhibitions held starting in 1975, the Premio Eugenio Mendoza was intended to act as a stimulus for Venezuelan artists, whether or not they lived in the country, and for foreign artists who resided in Venezuela. Over the course of almost two decades and eleven expositions (the last was held in 2003), the Sala Mendoza became a venue committed to advocating and supporting contemporary art in Venezuela. Video artist Javier Téllez was the winner of the ninth Premio Eugenio Mendoza for his work Licantropía [Lycanthropy], which addresses the exclusion of individuals suffering from mental illness and the insensible power mechanisms it entails.

Monica Quintini
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of Sala Mendoza and Cecilia Fajardo-Hill's Archives.
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.