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The journalist Aurora Blyde interviews José Antonio Hernández-Diez during the course of the exhibition CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual (Caracas: Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993). The Venezuelan visual artist discusses the subjects he explores in his work, such as Christian icons or ideas, their relationship to history, and his somewhat unorthodox approach to science. He tells Blyde what he thinks most people expect from Latin American art and explains his response to that expectation. He talks about his major goals as he conceives and creates his art, wanting above all to purge his work of boredom and repetition.
CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual was one of the most important exhibitions ever presented in the field of Venezuelan conceptual art, non-object-based art, and the use of mixed media and technology in Caracas. Under the inspired curatorship of the graphic designer Álvaro Sotillo (b. 1946), the event involved ten emerging artists from the 1970s and 1980s who, by the time of the exhibition in 1993, had established themselves with a solid body of work. The artists were: Eugenio Espinoza (b. 1950), Sigfredo Chacón (b. 1950), Héctor Fuenmayor (b. 1949), Roberto Obregón (b. 1946), and others who emerged later on: Alfred Wenemoser (b. 1954), Sammy Cucher (b.1958), Meyer Vaisman (b. 1960), Oscar Machado (b. 1953), José Gabriel Fernández (b. 1957), and José Antonio Hernández-Diez (b. 1964).
The interviews conducted by the journalist Aurora Blyde and published in the catalogue/study guide for the exhibition provide a broad overview of current Venezuelan art. Blyde’s articles help to identify influences from one generation to another, and see affinities with Venezuelan and international movements since the 1970s. They also help to place (in time) the artists’ individual poetics and key moments in their careers.
In his fluid answers to Blyde’s questions, Hernández-Diez (the youngest of the participating artists) analyzes several different subjects intelligently and in great depth. Unlike others, he discusses what “foreigners” expect of Latin American art, rejecting prevailing “stereotypical” views based on “tropical settings, and suffering, and the kind of art focused on pain that Frida Kahlo produced.” He admits that he uses Latin American referents in his work, but he approaches them from a different perspective based on religious icons. In addition to his shrewd observations, he says he is irritated by “traditional handcraft ideas about Latin American art.” Hernández-Diez also has interesting things to say about an aesthetic that involves both technique and the potential that attracts him to this field, namely the “post industrialism” that works with outdated technology but with great purity of technique.
Regarding Aurora Blyde’s other interviews with artists who participated in the CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual exhibition, see “Jugando a atrapar el espacio [Entrevista con Sigfredo Chacón]” [doc. no. 864412]; “Por la seducción de ver [Entrevista con José Gabriel Fernández]” [doc. no. 864393]; “Para hacerle ofrendas a la muerte [Entrevista con Roberto Obregón]” [doc. no. 1097592]; “De las cenizas petrificadas por el tiempo [Entrevista con Oscar Machado]” [doc. no. 864755]; “Irreflexiones, reflexiones y flexiones [Entrevista con Héctor Fuenmayor]” [doc. no. 864715]; “Haciendo notas del inconsciente [Entrevista con Sammy Cucher]” [doc. no. 864676]; “Ficción sobre ficción [Entrevista con Meyer Vaisman]” [doc. no. 1051228]; and, finally, “Entre el orden histórico y el caos emocional [Entrevista con Eugenio Espinoza]” [doc. no. 864696].